Student views of a PBL chemistry laboratory in a general education science course

Main Article Content

Susan E Ramlo
Carrie Salmon
Yuan Xue


Several traditional chemistry lab experiences were replaced with a problem-based learning (PBL) experience in a college, general education, conceptual chemistry course.  Students worked in small groups on an authentic chemistry problem where each student played a different role (Scientist, Engineering, Marketing Manager, Safety Officer, or Secretary).  Mid-semester, the pandemic forced the course online.  Q methodology [Q] was used to determine the divergent viewpoints that existed amongst the students regarding their PBL experience. Each student provided their view by sorting related statements into a grid.  Three divergent viewpoints emerged from the analyses  Two viewpoints are positive about the PBL experience (Motivated learners and Committed to my group) and one is negative (Negative experience due to group dynamics).  Descriptions of these views and implications are discussed.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Susan E Ramlo, The University of Akron

Professor, General Technology - Physics

Department of Engineering & Science Technology

Professor, Physics

Department of Physics

Carrie Salmon, The University of Akron

PhD candidate, Department of Chemistry

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Wooster

Yuan Xue, The University of Akron

Phd graduate student, Department of Chemistry


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