ADVANCED ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY: EVALUATION OF A NEW METHODOLOGY TO IMPROVE STUDENTS’ RESULTS
1 Universitat de Valencia (SPAIN)
2 Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Analytical Chemistry III is a core and advanced subject taught in the third year of Chemistry Degree along the first four-month period. In the curriculum, it involves 6 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits. The aim of the course is to extend the overview of the different types of instrumental analytical techniques, which in this course are completed with electro-analytical techniques, separation and coupled techniques. The subject is intended to provide the student a solid foundation in their ability to select analytical methods, based on the techniques studied in previous courses and completed in this course.
The development of the course is structured around two main axes: lectures of 60 minutes and tutorials. In the lectures, the teacher gives an overview of the subject matter, which affects those key concepts for the understanding of it, whereas in the tutorials, students solve classroom problems, issues or other work proposed by the teacher. The results obtained in these activities are considered in the final grade, although students’ learning is also assessed by a final examination. Thus, the overall course grade is calculated as a weighted average with the following contributions: 30% personal activities, and 70% written examination.
However, although the described methodology is designed to help and expedite students’ learning, the difficulty of this subject, together with insufficient mathematical and chemical skills, results in considerable academic failure. This gives rise to a large stock of students that increases year by year. In fact, the average number of enrolled students goes beyond 150 per year, with no more than 40% achieving success in the subject.
In order to improve these results, this study proposes the use of a new methodology that divides each session in 30 minute lecture combined with 30 minute tutorial session devoted to questions and problem solving. The final examination is also replaced by short written questions done along the semester. The results are analyzed in terms of achieved final grades, and how this new methodology affects students’ motivation.