57 research outputs found

    Context and problem-based learning

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    Context based learning is any learning that places content within a meaningful context. CBL has been demonstrated to enthuse and engage learners and is increasingly being used in sciences, especially at pre-University level. Problem-based learning can be viewed as a sub-set of CBL. In PBL, the context is framed as an open ended problem scenario. The problem is encountered before knowledge is in place and acts as thedriver for independent learning. PBL has been demonstrated to enhance understanding, increase motivation and develop a range of transferable skills. The use of CBL and PBL in the physical sciences will be reviewed.Context and problem-based learning are approaches that are becoming increasingly popular in Higher Education. The aim of this article is to introduce the two approaches and provide some exemplars from within the physical sciences

    Context based learning in chemistry: Chemistry in Sport [part 1]

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    A learning resource for part-time 1st year foundation degree students was designed to be completed entirely by independent study. The course presented chemistry in the context of sport and investigated the use of a number of alternative methods of teaching/ learning, including:● The Perry Scheme of Intellectual Development● Multiple intelligences (MI) Theory● Problem-Based Learning (PBL)● Context Based Learning (CBL)● Mind Mapping● Case Studies● Web-based independent learningA website containing questions, hyperlinks to further content and external webpages was produced. The students’ response was positive. They enjoyed the course, found the context interesting and the presentation helpful. The assessment marks improved (a 5-6% increase) compared to a more traditional paper based course. As only eight students took the course these results cannot be seen as statistically significant but provide agood indication that this was an effective approach. In completing their assessments and pre and post questionnaires the students provided valuable feedback that will enable improvements to the learning resource

    Cognitive psychology and problem solving in the physical sciences

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    This paper provides and introduction to the literature on cognitive psychology and problem solving in physical sciences. We consider the working memory and its three different components, two of which hold and record information and are controlled by an executive that controls attention. Working memory alone cannot explain problem solving ability and we review the influence of schemata, the construction of mental models, visual reasoning and the cognitive style of field dependence

    Investigating students' success in solving and attitudes towards context-rich open-ended problems in chemistry

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    Much research has been carried out on how students solve algorithmic and structured problems in chemistry. This study is concerned with how students solve open-ended, ill-defined problems in chemistry. Over 200 undergraduate chemistry students solved a number of open-ended problem in groups and individually. The three cognitive variables of working memory, M capacity and field dependence-independence were measured. A pre and post activity attitudes questionnaire was administered. The results show that there is a difference between the cognitive variables required for success in traditional algorithmic problems and open-ended problems. The context-rich open-ended problems significantly shifted students' attitudes towards problem solving

    Using evidence to drive, validate and reward innovation in teaching and learning

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    Innovation is defined as using something original, more effective or new, or to do something differently. Our understanding of innovation in teaching and learning is that ideally the new or different approach or resource leads to better outcomes, that is enhanced student learning? But how often is this assumption rigorously tested beyond the end of semester ‘happy sheet’? How often do such innovations build upon or contribute the research evidence of what makes effective learning and what is required by today’s graduates? What research evidence is collected in order to convince our colleagues of need for innovation in the first place? How often do academics place their teaching innovation in the context of existing research evidence and the literature? Is changing teaching practice impacted upon by research evidence or is it largely based on personal experience, previous experience and anecdote? The role of research evidence in impacting the development of the curriculum and pedagogy will be explored, focussing on some examples that have influenced thinking in science education. The role of research into to teaching and learning as a valid academic endeavour deserving of recognition and reward will also be explored

    An introduction to the recent literature on approaches to work-based learning

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    The term work-based learning is widely used throughout the literature, academia and industry to describe a multiplicity of approaches by which one can learn through work. The complex nature of work-based learning can often lead to confusion when designing courses which aim to implement such an approach.This review will focus on:The rationale for conducting work-based learning.The varieties of approaches to work-based learning that are currently implemented.Student opinions of work-based learning.How to resolve any implementation and communication issues.There are many approaches to developing work-based learning modules, courses and projects that utilise learning at, learning for, and learning through work. This paper aims to review the literature in these areas

    Problem solving case studies in analytical and applied chemistry

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    We have produced six problem solving case studies which have been designed inorder to teach analytical and applied chemistry within a ‘real’ life context bydeveloping problem solving and professional skills. The case studies use the contexts of forensic science, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, and industrial chemistry. They present students with extended problems that are set in a ‘real’ context with incomplete or excessive data, and require independent learning, evaluation of data and information and, in some cases, do not lead to a single ‘correct’ answer. By tackling these cases, students are able to see the relevance of analytical chemistry and so approach the activities with enthusiasm and interest. In order to successfully tackle a case study, students must develop a range of professional skills such as communication, team work, project management, etc

    A case study in Green chemistry: Developing replacements for CFCs

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    Chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs, were developed in the late 1920s for use as safe refrigerant alternatives to sulphur dioxide and ammonia. They were welcomed by industry because of their low toxicity, chemical stability, low flammability, low cost and ease of synthesis. They found wide application as refrigerants, blowing agents, propellants and cleaning agents. Over more than 40 years, applications of CFCs expanded into a wide variety of areas, and grew into a multibillion-dollar industry. Unfortunately, CFCs are not ecologically benign. It became increasingly clear that CFCs were responsible for ozone depletion. In the early 1970s the leading manufacturers of CFCs met to discuss the possible environmental impact of their products.This case study uses a problem based learning approach to take students through the development of replacements for CFCs from the 1970s to today. They investigate the background to the CFC problem and consider data that leads to the decision to investigate possible replacements. They must select and design replacement molecules (HFCs), devise syntheses and then consider the challenge to develop the replacements in a socio-economic and political framework. They also consider the problems posed by existing CFCs, the ‘fridge mountain’ and possible disposal and containment alternatives.The case study brings the story up to date with an investigation of the problems now being associated with HFCs and the search for new alternatives. This activity successfully teaches applied and ‘green’ chemistry via a real life context. The chemistry encountered is of an applied/industrial nature and is set in a socioeconomic context. The influence of political pressures is also brought in when appropriate. Because the activity adopts a problem based approach it is also successful in developing a range of transferable skills, particularly problem solving, teamwork plus verbal and written communication

    DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF CONTEXT-BASED UNDERGRADUATE BIOCHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH SCIENCES (CUBHS) RESOURCES FOR FUTURE HEALTH WORKERS

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    BACKGROUND The Context-based Undergraduate Biochemistry for Health Science (CUBHS) learning resource is designed to link biochemistry concepts to students’ future clinical practice in nursing, pharmacy and psychology in preparation for ever-changing professional contexts. Our research aimed to develop and evaluate CUBHS resources. DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT In designing contexts for the resources, relevant clinical scenarios were identified and tasks that linked context with Biochemistry concepts were collaboratively designed through a series of 15 interviews with health professionals/educators. Then, resources for nursing, pharmacy and psychology were developed. PILOT TEST AND EVALUATION CUBHS resources were piloted in workshops involving 43 (nursing, pharmacy, psychology) students. Our pilot test determined the effects of CUBHS on perception of relevance (PR), attitude towards biochemistry (AB) and achievement. Surveys, biochemistry quizzes and focus groups were conducted. Our survey revealed a significant difference (p < 0.05) in the pre-to-post scores in perceived relevance to future professional life (PR) and anxiety (AB). Pre-to-post quiz scores showed a significant difference (p < 0.001). Focus group data confirmed the relevance of CUBHS to interactions with patients and health professionals, fun/engaging learning and strengthening of understanding of concepts. IMPLEMENTATION Our results serve as basis for implementation and development of more resources, which are adapted to COVID-19 clinical contexts
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