How it Works

Graphic A illustrates the elements and focus of a traditional undergraduate general chemistry course.

The traditional chemistry course

Graphic B illustrates the elements and focus of ChANgE Chem.

The ChANgE Chem Intervention

 Two reasons for our emphasis on the recitation/discussion component of the course:

  1. Long-Term Sustainability (Henderson et al, 2011):
  2. The results of previous work demonstrating that the recitation and laboratory components of courses tend to be overly competitive and not collaborative (Zawojewski et al, 2008)

Strategies that we adopted as part of our design that have been shown through empirical research to support our outcomes:

  • Model-Eliciting Activities (Hamilton et al, 2008)
  • Engineering Design Cycle (NAE, 2005; Litzinger, 2011; Passow, 2007)

mini-Projects are delivered in a three-phase format based upon the engineering design cycle (Graphic C). Each phase corresponds to one-week in the course and is delivered in a single discussion/recitation section.

3-phase diagram

Graphic C: The Three Phases of ChANgE Chem


Hamilton, E., Lesh, R., Lester, F., & Brilleslyper, M. . (2008). Model-eliciting activities (MEAs) as a bridge between engineering education research and mathematics education research. Advances in Engineering Education, 1(2), 1-24.

Henderson, C., Beach, A., & Finkelstein, N. (2011). Facilitating change in undergraduate STEM instructional practices: An analytic review of the literature. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(8), 952-984. doi: 10.1002/tea.20439

Litzinger, T. A., Lattuca, L. R., Hadgraft, R. G., & Newstetter, W. C. (2011). Engineering education and the development of expertise. Journal of Engineering Education, 100(1), 123-150.

National Academy of Engineering [NAE]. (2005). Educating the engineer of 2020: Adapting engineering education to the new century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Passow, H. J. (2007). What competencies should engineering programs emphasize? A meta-analysis of practitioners opinions informs curricular design. Paper presented at the 3rd International CDIO Conference, Cambridge, MA.

Zawojewski, J. S., Diefes-Dux, H. A., & Bowman, K. J. (Eds.). (2008). Models and Modeling in Engineering Education. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

CC BY 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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