Breakout sessions A & B: Learning analytical chemistry in collaborative, role-playing groups

Breakout sessions A & B:
A view from the trenches: Learning analytical chemistry in small, collaborative, role-playing groups

Saturday, October 11, 2003
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
1:30 - 3:00 pm

Paul T. Jackson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry- St. Olaf College
Mary M. Walczak, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry- St. Olaf College
John P. Walters, Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry- St. Olaf College

The two-course analytical chemistry program at St. Olaf College uses role-playing to foster a small group, collaborative learning, problem-solving environment. Classroom and laboratory structures are integrated so as to remove the artificial delineation between the two aspects of scientific education. Within the role-playing construct four key elements form the foundation for the teaching/learning experience: 1) interdependence among team members; 2) division of responsibility rather than the division of labor; 3) rotation between roles within the team; and 4) freedom within a mission.

In this workshop we will provide a brief overview of the role-playing analytical curriculum at St. Olaf College, address the practical costs of doing business at a small educational institution, describe what we have learned in the trenches - including student assessment, and provide a hands-on activity that operates within this pedagogical approach.