Teaching reform efforts in chemistry education often involve engaging students in small-group activities of different types. This study focused on the analysis of how activity type affected the nature of group conversations. In particular, we analyzed the small-group conversations of students enrolled in a chemistry course for nonscience majors. Group work in this course was designed and facilitated by preservice teachers enrolled in a science teaching methods class. Our results suggest that the types of activities in which students were engaged influenced the extent to which group talk focused on content-related issues. In particular, activities that asked students to compare and contrast different systems, different ideas, or predicted and actual behaviors were often associated with higher student engagement in constructing, transforming, and applying knowledge to make sense of concepts and ideas discussed in class.
- Chemical Education Research
- Collaborative/Cooperative Learning
- First-Year Undergraduate/General
- Student-Centered Learning
ASJC Scopus subject areas