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African Journal of Chemical Education

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Enhancing first year chemistry student’s participation in practical chemistry course

Girma W. Woyessa, Ephrem G. Demissie, Tesfa Oluma, Solomon B. Kassa

Abstract


In this study, enhancing student’s participation in practical analytical chemistry course at Haramaya University with various reasons was conducted. The data were collected from I year chemistry undergraduate students of class size 56 of which 23 were females and 33 were males. The class was arranged in to two groups for laboratory class and the experiment was conducted once per week in analytical laboratory. The research used mainly three kinds of data collection techniques namely questionnaire and laboratory report and demonstration result to gather the required qualitative and quantitative data for improving the participation of first year chemistry students. From the result, it was found that students were interested towards the practical analytical courses on the basis of condition such as, necessity of the chemistry with life, their participation in the laboratory, getting experience from the laboratory and performing the experiment in group. The results of the study support the notion that, students were more interested to a group work rather than individual work since they share idea, read their manual before coming to laboratory which contributed to their own participation in learning practical chemistry courses. The research has also shown that student’s activity through experimental demonstration in group increases student’s participations in the laboratory effectively by achieving better results than using laboratory report writing methods. The findings also revealed that some of the causes of students’ negative attitudes towards learning practical Chemistry were mainly due to problems in preparing a flow chart for the experiments by themselves and lack of exposure to well-equipped laboratory for conducting demonstrations. In view of the findings and conclusions drawn in the study, Chemistry laboratories should be adequately equipped to ensure a smooth running of the practical classes and students should be encouraged to participate on practical chemistry courses and appropriate motivation should be given so that they will develop positive attitude towards the practical sessions.




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