Session S41d (Wednesday, 2pm, Wartik 110)

P788: Organic chemistry in action! - An action research project for Irish schools

Muireann Sheehan (University of Limerick, Ireland), Anne O’ Dwyer (University of Limerick, Ireland)

Organic Chemistry in Action! is a research-based intervention project designed to improve the teaching and learning of organic chemistry in second-level and introductory third-level courses. The main areas of difficulty experienced by Irish students in organic chemistry were first identified. The intervention programme was developed using these findings and insights from chemistry education research.

The teaching materials were developed using specific design criteria: spiraling of topic development, linking outcomes and assessment, facilitation of cognitive development, inquiry-based learning, use of visual aids and models, integration of contextual applications, integration of practical work and early identification of misconceptions. A variety of teaching approaches were employed throughout the intervention programme. The materials were trialled in nine second-level schools. Feedback from the participating students, as well as comparisons with eight control groups using the traditional approach, were used to evaluate the intervention. These results will be discussed in the conference presentation.


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