Using storylines to increase student performance in the chemistry classroom
Curran, Jacquelyn Caryl
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The purpose of this classroom research project was to determine whether using storylines as a means for providing context and coherence within a chemistry unit would have a positive impact on student understanding as indicated by performance on unit assessments. A storyline refers to the sequence of events through which a unit surrounding an anchoring event or phenomena unfolds. Storylines provide structure, ground content, and guide students in making connections between not only important learning objectives, but also within a larger context. During this classroom research project, 38 out of 60 students were exposed to instruction using storylines. While, another 23 students received traditional instruction. Results of pre- and post-assessment scores of the two groups were then compared, along with student self-assessment surveys, interviews, and feedback form responses. Upon analysis of pre- and post-assessment scores, results indicated that for the particular unit of study, the incorporation of an overarching storyline did not have a significant impact on student understanding. However, in looking at student self-assessment surveys, interviews, and feedback form responses, it is clear which types of activities students found to be the most beneficial to their overall learning experience. This valuable information can be utilized in future applications.