Out with tradition and in with inquiry

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Science  17 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6232, pp. 299
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6232.299-d

Replacing traditional chemistry labs with inquiry-based laboratories that mimic a research project is no easy feat. Hartings et al. describe the creation and assessment of two, two-semester-long, student-driven, faculty-assisted laboratory curricula. What makes this approach unique is that the students control the research direction. Research done in the first semester is considered to be a control experiment forming the basis for the second semester, which is then dictated by the expertise and interest of the researchers. The research trajectory continues as the second-semester experiments from one year become the control experiments for the next year. This allows the research project to continually evolve according to student decisions, making it a research project that truly belongs to students.

J. Chem. Educ. 10.1021/ed500793q (2015).

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