CASE STUDY METHODOLOGY TO ASSIST CHEMISTRY TEACHING

D. Airado-Rodríguez, M.D. Víctor-Ortega

University of Granada (SPAIN)
Teachers interested in involving their students more fully in classroom discussion have found that the study of real cases can provide a rich basis for developing students’ problem-solving and decision-making skills. At this regard, we present in this communication an innovative experience, classified as an active methodology, conducted by novice university teachers. In particular, we have used the so-called “case study” methodology. This technique basically consists on the analysis by the students of real cases provided by the teacher, in order to achieve the conceptualization and ultimately serve as a reinforcement of the teaching – learning process. Among the advantages of this approach it is worthy to mention the strengthening of motivation and the analysis and synthesis skills. The teacher's role in this methodology is to guide reflection and discussion, and to promote the synthesis in which the theoretical concepts relate to the practical analyzed in the case. The experience has been implemented with fifth-year undergraduate Chemistry students (30 students in total). The entire student group was divided into groups of 2-3 people and the teacher gave each group a research article published in scientific journals. Scientific papers were strategically selected by the teacher in order to cover the topics discussed during the course of the subject. At the end of the experience, feedback from students was collected through a survey. In this sense, it is important to highlight that the vast majority of them valued this experience as a very positive and enriching activity.