What effect does advanced lab preperation have on student achievement in a high school accelerated chemistry class?
The purpose of this action research-based classroom project was to study the effects of planning and preparing for lab compared to not preparing for lab and how that affected student achievement. Students took part in four labs where they prepared ahead of time, and four labs where they were given the lab procedures the day of the investigation and asked to complete their work. Student achievement and success were measured using questionnaires, surveys, and teacher observations during labs. There were eighteen Bellevue High School students in the accelerated chemistry class who participated in this study. During both treatments, the students were engaged in labs and indicated that they felt comfortable with the material that they were learning in class and how it compared to the lab experiment. When students prepared on their own for lab they consulted books, YouTube, the internet, and peers more than they did when they didn't have to prepare on their own. The results indicated that students were more successful, comfortable, and prepared for lab when they prepared on their own vs. when they were given the lab procedures the day of class. Although the students were more successful and comfortable when they prepared, this study also indicated that students enjoyed the hands-on experience during all labs.