African Journal of Chemical Education

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Creativity in workshop: overlap and underlap card technique for concentration units of second semester general chemistry

Cassandra Orozco, James E. Becvar, Mahesh Narayan


Creativity in the classroom is the goal for peer leaders of the Peer Led Team Learning Program (PLTL) in the Chemistry Department at the University of Texas at El Paso. The goal is to enhance the learning experience for students taking general chemistry in their workshops or classrooms. These ideas allow students to engage in classroom discussions with their peer leader. The ideas can be themed on concepts such as molecular geometries, kinetics, or acids and bases. In second semester general chemistry, a call to utilizing creativity in the classroom has demonstrated a way for peer leaders to efficiently teach students how to convert the following four main concentration units via kinesthetic interaction: molarity, molality, mole fraction, and percent by mass. What this means is that, by arranging cards as fractions in which the concentration units are represented as ratios, they will be maneuvered by grabbing each card and placing them either over or under another card to get the desired unit. Thus, to reach a desired unit in the numerator and/or the denominator the concept of overlap and underlap is the key to employing these stacks of cards to see how the units relate to one another. This allows students to think about what is needed in the numerator and the denominator. Students gain the opportunity to physically manipulate conversion factors and improve or review their understanding of dimensional analysis.

AJOL African Journals Online