University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 5980-5985
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.1209
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Research based learning (RBL) is a well known active methodology due to its returns getting students involved in their own learning processes, and providing a realistic training that makes possible the development of a great number of transversal skills. Among them, autonomy and self-regulation, scientific dissemination, and critical thinking are ones of the more valuable skills for Chemistry undergraduate students because are not easily addressed by traditional methodology. RBL activities have demonstrated to be specifically targeted for the assimilation of these skills.

Today’s chemists and scientists apart from acquiring specific qualities such as, organizational, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills, must be trained as responsible and qualified professionals with social and ecological awareness in order to construct a sustainable future. In this scenario, educational organizations around the world, such as University, are called to contribute with the plans of action of United Nations, like Agenda2030 sustainable development goals (SDG).

Taking all above into account, here we describe and evaluate the implementation of a RBL project inspired on the promotion of some of the SDGs of the Agenda 2030 program, like the responsible production and consumption (SDG 12), for undergraduate students of Physical Chemistry. This project was developed along one semester of the second year of the degree in Chemistry at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) simultaneously in two subjects belonged to the Basic Module: the theoretical subject Physical Chemistry (Phys Chem) and the experimental course Experimentation in Physical Chemistry (Exp Phys Chem). This direct connection between theory and experimentation derived from shared activities, enables a continuous self-questioning about the information received in magister classes, an increase of the connection with previous and new knowledge, and, arouse a spontaneous application of the scientific method to a real-world problem.

A general open-ended starting question is provided in the framework of SDG 12 of the Agenda 2030 program that launches the mini research project. In this project students formulate objectives and hypothesis, propose and organize the required tasks, perform and analyze the results and finally, they present in public the obtained conclusions. A brief description of the designed learning sequence, the way in which its implementation was carried out, as well as, the difficulties encountered during the process, are herein described. In addition, the evaluation of the project was carried out based on the satisfaction of students and lecturers/instructors, the knowledge and favourable attitudes and practices regarding responsible production and consumption, and the improvement in academic skills (transversals and specifics).
Research based learning, Agenda 2030, Physical Chemistry, sustainability.