Effect of different types of small-group activities on students' conversations

Krista K. Young, Vicente Talanquer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 10 2013


  • Chemical Education Research
  • Collaborative/Cooperative Learning
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • Student-Centered Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education


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