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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 10 Issue 3 (2005) pp 176-178

Students Prefer a Guided-Inquiry Format for General Chemistry Laboratory

Robert F. Friel, Catherine E. Albaugh, and Isam Marawi*

Department of Chemistry, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45207,
Received November 29, 2004. Accepted March 10, 2005.

Published online: 4 May 2005

Abstract. Laboratory classes in an instructional chemistry program are very important as a tool to reinforce what is being taught in the lecture. The question is “are the students getting the full benefit out of the laboratory time?” Should the laboratory time be used as an opportunity to teach theoretical concepts, or should it be used only to verify practical aspects of what has been taught in the lecture? Students who have had general chemistry laboratory instruction in verification format for a semester and guided-inquiry (GI) format for another semester expressed in a qualitative fashion that the guided-inquiry format utilizes the laboratory time more effectively, is more engaging, and is more effective in promoting learning and building their confidence. They commented that the guided-inquiry format made them work harder and, therefore, enhanced their understanding of the concepts and materials taught in the lectures.

Key Words: In the Classroom; general chemistry; laboratory instruction; guided-inquiry; discovery method

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Issue date: June 1, 2005

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