About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5174-5179
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain


N. Tran, T. Nguyen, A. Fraiman

Northeastern Illinois University (UNITED STATES)
In the last few years, we have implemented significant change in the laboratory experiments in Organic Chemistry at NEIU. Laboratory experiments changed from single session labs that were conducted in pairs to experiments that evolved over several sessions in the laboratory and were conducted in larger teams. Additionally, instead of a single authored report completed at the end of a session, the new mastery laboratory experiments required a team report that would develop over the course of several weeks. This new laboratory design created a new dynamic within the laboratory that required a higher level of collaboration, coordination, and active exchange of ideas.

The implementation of Mastery Laboratory designs presented many benefits. First, these laboratories more accurately simulated the research process which occurs in both academia as well as industry. In both of these settings, experiments evolve gradually over time and are rarely completed in a three-hour session. Second, mastery laboratory required all members of the lab-team to communicate, contribute and analyze their shared findings. Mastery Learning Model was developed with the goal of helping students understand the design and anatomy of the chemical experiment. This too, simulated the experiences that scientists encounter in the laboratory.

This process required much coordination among the team members and a significant time commitment both for individual thought as well as collaborative learning. This was difficult to accomplish at a non-residential college where students often spend limited time on campus. To ameliorate this difficulty, the chem-wiki was used for laboratory reports, (Fraiman,Elliot,2010 ) an online tool that enables students to collaborate discuss and compare results of experiments outside the time allocated for laboratory experiments.

Our assessment of Mastery Laboratory in Organic Chemistry showed promising results, and the potential for broader application on other disciplines. It showed that these kinds of experiments promote critical thinking, understanding of the anatomy and design of chemical experiments, team work and correlation with the material of learned in the classroom.
author = {Tran, N. and Nguyen, T. and Fraiman, A.},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {5174-5179}}
AU - N. Tran AU - T. Nguyen AU - A. Fraiman
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 5174
EP - 5179
ER -
N. Tran, T. Nguyen, A. Fraiman (2013) MASTERY AND WIKIS, ICERI2013 Proceedings, pp. 5174-5179.