Using case studies to help chemistry students understand science concepts

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Date

2021

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to study the effects of problem solving case studies on student understanding of high school concepts. Students were exposed to a case study that related chemistry content to real world applications. The project began with a non-treatment group studying periodic trends where students engaged in traditional chemistry learning activities which included reading, lecture, video, and virtual labs. The treatment group also had students engaged in traditional chemistry learning activities with the addition of including a real-world case study with class discussion. Data were collected using student pre-unit and post-unit assessments, surveys and interviews as a measure of student content understand, higher-level thinking, student attitude and motivation. Teacher data were also collected using student observations and teacher reflections to gain understanding of student attitudes and motivation. The data showed no difference between the two groups regarding post-assessment scores. The data showed some of the students' attitudes about science improved when applied to real world scenarios using case studies.

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