PROJECT-BASED LEARNING APPLIED TO THE ‘ADVANCED ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY’ SUBJECT
1 University Jaume I (SPAIN)
2 University of Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Project-based learning, or PBL, is the use of in-depth and rigorous classroom projects to facilitate learning and assess student competence (not to be confused with problem-based learning). Students use technology and inquiry to respond to a complex issue, problem or challenge. PBL focuses on student-centred inquiry and group learning with the teacher acting as a facilitator.
PBL provides complex tasks based on challenging questions or problems that involve the students' problem solving, decision making, investigative skills, and reflection that include teacher facilitation, but not direction. PBL is focused on questions that drive students to encounter the central concepts and principles of a subject hands-on.
With PBL, students learn from these experiences and take them into account and apply them to their lives in the real world. PBL is a different teaching technique that promotes and practices new learning habits. Students have to think in original ways to come up with the solutions to these real-world problems. It helps with their creative thinking skills by showing that there are many ways to solve a problem.
The PBL methodology was applied in the second semester of the ‘Advanced Analytical Chemistry” subject taught in the chemistry degree at Universitat Jaume I (Spain). Students undertook a project in which they proposed the automation of an analysis method carried out by classical techniques and assessed their cost in economic and human terms. They chose from among three evaluation itineraries. It should be noted that this methodology was optional and not mandatory. Student performance was compared in each itinerary, and conclusions were drawn about the impact of the improvement of this methodology on student learning.
This work has been supported by a project from USE (Unitat de Suport Educatiu, Universitat Jaume I).
Keywords: Project-based learning, chemistry degree, advanced analytical chemistry, ECTS.