Teaching College General Chemistry: Techniques Designed to Communicate a Conceptual Framework
Journal of Chemical Education
General chemistry at the college level is often perceived as a major hurdle by typical undergraduates. Both Freshmen and more advanced students undertake courses in general chemistry either ill-prepared or convinced that the subject matter is beyond their comprehension. With the exception of potential chemistry majors, the vast majority of general chemistry students enter the class simply to satisfy a graduation requirement of their degree program. Consequently, instructors must both communicate an understanding of the subject matter and overcome major barriers to the learning process itself. This paper discusses two techniques which have been utilized for five semesters in general chemistry courses and which attempt to surmount barriers to learning by emphasizing the conceptual framework of the science of chemistry. One of these techniques is the use of a repechage system (literally meaning "second chance") for all hour examinations during the term, while the second engages the students in writing exercises based on the laboratory portion of the course. This paper will discuss the techniques, their application and impact, and finally, the positive and negative aspects their utilization in a general chemistry course.
Ronald J. Duchovic (1998).
Teaching College General Chemistry: Techniques Designed to Communicate a Conceptual Framework. Journal of Chemical Education.75 (7), 856.