P52: C3Lab: An integrated cognitive and conceptual curriculum for the general chemistry laboratory
Investigators from Northern Kentucky University and California State University Fullerton, in an NSF-funded project, designed a series of integrated laboratory activities that scaffold students’ development of cognitive skills to support conceptual understanding in general chemistry laboratory. The activities target cognitive skills specific to inquiry-based learning in the laboratory, and the abilities of students to transform fundamental chemistry concepts between macroscopic, particulate and symbolic representations. A Learning Continuum Framework that describes a developmental progression of cognitive and conceptual learning objectives scaffolded across three inquiry approaches of structured, guided and open inquiry guides the development of the laboratory activities. The laboratory instructional materials focus on four concept domains: physical and chemical change, stoichiometry, solutions and gases. Preliminary results regarding students’ ability to correctly assign variable names, align uncertainty in measurement with significant figures, construct scientifically appropriate graphs and interpretation of two-dimensional versus three-dimensional models of ionic solids will be presented.