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  • 1.
    Berg, Anders
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry. Faculty of Teacher Education, Mathematics, Technology and Science Education.
    Bergendahl, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry.
    Lundberg, Bruno
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry.
    Tibell, Lena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry.
    Benefiting from an open-ended experiment? A comparison of attitudes to, and outcomes of, an expository versus an open-inquiry version of the same experiment2003In: International Journal of Science Education, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 351-72Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article we compare outcomes of an open-inquiry and an expository version of a chemistry laboratory experiment at university level for 190 students. The aim of the study was to investigate if these two versions would result in different outcomes depending on the students' attitudes towards learning. We used a questionnaire to find out their attitude position prior to the laboratory experiment. The outcome in the different versions of the experiment was evaluated by interviews, questions asked during the experiment and students self-evaluations. The main findings were that the open-inquiry version shows the most positive outcomes regarding learning outcome, preparation time, time spent in the laboratory and student perception of the experiment. The students with low attitude position needed more support to meet the challenge of an open-inquiry experiment, the support being a clearer explanation of the aims, and feedback from the instructor during the experiment.

  • 2.
    Winberg, Mikael
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Teacher Education, Mathematics, Technology and Science Education.
    Berg, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Teacher Education, Mathematics, Technology and Science Education.
    Students' cognitive focus during a chemistry laboratory exercise: Effects of a computer simulated prelab2007In: Journal of research in science teaching, ISSN 0022-4308, Vol. 44, no 8, p. 1098-2736Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To enhance the learning outcomes achieved by students, learners undertook a computer-simulated activity based on an acid-base titration prior to a university-level chemistry laboratory activity. Students were categorized with respect to their attitudes toward learning. During the laboratory exercise, questions that students asked their assistant teachers were used as indicators of cognitive focus. During the interviews, students' frequency and level of spontaneous use of chemical knowledge served as an indicator of knowledge usability. Results suggest that the simulation influenced students toward posing more theoretical questions during their laboratory work and, regardless of attitudes, exhibiting a more complex, correct use of chemistry knowledge in their interviews. A more relativistic student attitude toward learning was positively correlated with interview performance in both the control and treatment groups.

  • 3.
    Österlund, Lise-Lotte
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Berg, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ekborg, Margareta
    School of Teacher Education, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden.
    Redox models in chemistry textbooks for the upper secondary school: friend or foe?2010In: Chemistry Education Research and Practice, E-ISSN 1756-1108, Vol. 11, p. 182-192Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     We have investigated how chemistry textbooks use models of redox reactions in different subject areas, how they change models between and within the topics, and how they deal with specific learning difficulties identified in the literature. The textbooks examined were published for use in the natural science programme in Swedish upper secondary schools and in the UK A-level course. As a starting point, the defined redox models found in the literature were used to investigate the textbooks. The results show that all redox models are used with the addition of alternative representations. Authors exclusively use the electron and the oxidation number models in inorganic chemistry. In organic chemistry, the oxygen and hydrogen model are used, and in biochemistry mainly hydrogen and alternative representations. There is no guide to changes of models between the subject areas. However, within the inorganic chemistry, authors guide model change which was not identified in either organic or biochemistry. Regarding the learning difficulties, the authors dealt with just a few of them.

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  • 4.
    Österlund, Lise-Lotte
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology.
    Ekborg, Margareta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Berg, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Questions, reasoning and redox reactions: the work of upper secondary school students on an open-ended biochemistry taskManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

     In vital processes, such as metabolic reactions, redox reactions are important. This study reports results from students’ work in small groups with an open-ended biochemistry task involving metabolic pathways. The aim was to investigate, with a special attention to redox, the questions raised, the talk developed and the resources the students used to answer their questions. Video-recorded observations of three groups were conducted. To structure data, categorisation was performed. The result shows that the main recourse used to solve the questions was the consulting of the textbook – together or individually. Most questions were answered by consulting the textbook together, or a group member answered from own knowledge. The talk developed from the questions was mostly talk concerning a limited chemistry area or short answers. Questions about redox generated talk where the students analysed and related information into a context. Few questions were answered and the textbook was of no help.

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