Scaffolding students’ reflective dialogues in the chemistry lab: challenging the cookbook

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review

The paper reports on a cross-case analysis comparing students’ activities and dialogue during BA level laboratory exercises, applying a mixed methods research design with video-data, student questionnaires and interviews. Our analysis identified specific affordances in relation to macro and micro-scaffolding of students’ activities and dialogues, in order to stimulate them to work at higher cognitive levels. A specific lab-exercise in the course Macroscopic Physical Chemistry was redesigned with the aim of stimulating students’ metacognition both before and during the experimental work. The redesign included a prelab task, related to planning experimental work and explaining theory, and a definite level of openness in relation to the choice of data points. The analysis of activities and dialogue in the laboratory indicated that this rather simple redesign of a lab exercise successfully macro-scaffolded student-student dialogue on course content. Furthermore, dialogues between students and teaching assistant revealed elements of micro-scaffolding exploratory talk and a dialogic approach with open questions and prompts. The students expressed that the preparatory assignments and the dialogue with the teaching assistant supported their understanding. The redesigned exercise cannot be labelled as a full inquiry-based lab exercise, but the students were scaffolded in guided inquiry, making definite choices related to calculations, representations, and assessing their data.
Antal sider3
StatusUdgivet - 2017
BegivenhedESERA 2017 - Dublin City University, Dublin, Irland
Varighed: 21 aug. 201725 aug. 2017


KonferenceESERA 2017
LokationDublin City University

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