The Science Writing Heuristic (SWH), an instructional technique that combines inquiry, collaborative work, and reflective writing, provides a structure for both students and teachers to do effective inquiry activities in the chemistry laboratory. Research over the past decade clearly indicates that teaching using standard laboratory experiments and standard teaching approaches results in relatively small increases in most students' understanding of fundamental concepts in chemistry.
This project meets a national need for chemistry faculty and chemistry teaching assistants to effectively incorporate active-learning techniques and strategies in the academic laboratory. This project conducts workshops to train chemistry instructors and teaching assistants, from two- and four-year institutions and from large universities, and is developing web and CD/DVD based materials which enables instructor training without workshop attendance. The focus on training graduate students is important because many will become future chemistry instructors and they constitute the bulk of instructors for laboratories in many institutions.
The SWH workshops are offered nation-wide as advanced POGIL workshops. POGIL is a well established and widely adopted approach to guided inquiry. Both SWH and POGIL are being enhanced through this project. Materials developed in this proposal allow instructors to implement an advanced guided-inquiry teaching technique in their laboratories that is supplemented by reflective writing. The existing infrastructure of POGIL is used as administrative hub for advertising workshops, enrolling participants, production of resources, and recruitment of future workshop leaders from participants who show an ability to implement the SWH. The tactics, techniques and strategies that are featured in the written materials and videos are based on best practices as identified by the NSF and other agencies. They are also based on research on learning and the effectiveness of instructional strategies which testifies to the intellectual merit of this project. Instructors and teaching assistants are being asked to assess the effectiveness of the modules before and after they teach using the SWH approach.
This project provides college chemistry faculty and teaching assistants with exemplary models to enhance teaching and learning in the general chemistry laboratory through the use of training modules. Different teaching and learning techniques and resources, developed with NSF funding at the University of Washington - Seattle, the University of California - Berkeley and Iowa State University, are combined and serve as the basis of this work.
Thomas Greenbowe (Iowa State University)
For further information about the SWH approach, click here.
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation under grant DUE-0618708.
|Award Start Date:||10/01/2006|
|Award Expiration Date:||09/30/2010|