Scaffolding for Cognitive Overload using Pre-lecture E-resources (SCOPE) for First Year Chemistry Undergraduates

McDonnell, Claire and O’Connor, Christine and Rawe, Sarah (2013) Scaffolding for Cognitive Overload using Pre-lecture E-resources (SCOPE) for First Year Chemistry Undergraduates. In: 5th Eurovariety in Chemistry Education, University of Limerick, 3rd – 5th July 2013. “Smarter Teaching-Better Learning, Limerick, Ireland..

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The aims of this project were; (i) to develop additional online pre-lecture resources for first year chemistry undergraduates at level 7 and level 8 to complement those prepared in 2010- 11 for level 8 students by a colleague, Dr Michael Seery, (ii) to evaluate the effect of implementing the new resources by analysing quantitative (test and exam results) and qualitative (pre- and post-implementation surveys and focus group interviews) data. Ten prelecture activities on organic chemistry were prepared and used with 87 level 8 students in semester 2 of the 2011-12 academic year and 95 students in 2012-13. The E-resources were designed to; • reduce cognitive load by introducing some new terms and concepts before the lecture • incorporate worked examples to scaffold students’ learning • provide short online test questions with immediate feedback so that students could identify areas of difficulty. The anticipated benefit was that that the gap in performance often observed in first year between learners who have and have not studied chemistry at Leaving Certificate would disappear. Analysis of mid-semester test and examination results showed that, among groups with similar CAO points levels, the gap in performance between those who had and had not studied chemistry at Leaving Certificate was eliminated. The surveys and focus groups undertaken revealed that learners felt more confident and that they could focus more in the lecture when they had completed a pre-lecture activity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2015 20:54
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2015 21:03

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