Attitudes of general chemistry I students to small group learning experience

CHED 393

Gloria A. Brown Wright, brownwrightgla@ccsu.edu, Department of Chemistry, Central Connecticut State University, Nicolaus Copernicus 4400300, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06050
Pior research indicates that students learn chemistry better in small groups. But do they enjoy small group learning? Forty-four General Chemistry I students were taught in two groups: Group A (21 students) primarily by lecture with some group work included and Group B (23 students) primarily by inquiry groups with minimal lecturing. At the end of the semester, 20 responding students from Group A indicated a small increase in positive feelings about small-group learning, whereas none of the 18 responding Group B students indicated positive feelings about small-group learning. In both Groups A and B, positive experiences reported included appreciation for the opportunity to give and receive help from peers and social interactions; negative experiences reported included group members who did not do their fair share, and distracting social interactions. However, Group B was overwhelmed by the non-lecture format and the students were predominantly negative in assessing their learning experience.