1 University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Analytical Chemistry Department, Science and Technology Faculty (SPAIN)
2 University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Physical Chemistry Department, Science and Technology Faculty (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 7173-7176
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1693
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
First courses in any Science degree usually have several general courses dedicated to giving a basic background on scientific areas other than the main area of the degree. However, the students often show a lack of motivation towards those courses that are non-strictly related to the area of knowledge of their degree. One of the possible approaches to overcome the difficulties derived from the loss of motivation is to offer a more stimulant approach by interconnecting these general courses with the students’ field of study. This would not only increase their interest but also their capabilities to link other scientific disciplines to their bachelor degree.

In this context, the main objective of this project is to increase the motivation of the students and to strengthen the link between a general Chemistry course (Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Chemical Equilibrium) and Science degrees including Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Physics, Geology and Electronic engineering. In addition to focusing on the students’ motivation, this project has also been designed to develop transversal skills such as teamwork or critical thinking among others.

The proposed project is sequential and has been divided in three phases: design of the framework problem, implementation and evaluation of the results. In the design of the framework problem, a general structure of the problem has been established in order to cover the main contents to be addressed in the course. The framework problem was developed in collaboration with teachers of the disciplines the project is intended to. In this way, the Chemistry learning objectives could be adequately integrated in a realistic situation that the students might face during their professional career. For a suitable implementation of the project, a proper temporal sequence has been fixed to allow the student to work independently, to encourage reflection, to interconnect concepts and to promote an active role of the student. Each student team (3-4 people) has solved the problem by means of deliverables distributed during the project ongoing time. Students have obtained feedback via a standardised rubric and have had tutorial sessions at their disposal to solve the doubts related to the project. Finally, the impact of the project on students’ marks was studied as well as their level of satisfaction.

The authors thank the Educational Advice Service (SAE/HELAZ) of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) for the financial support of this Educational Innovation Project.
Introduction to Chemistry in University, Case-based learning, Thermodynamics, Kinetics, Chemical Equilibrium.