This research project seeks to address the pervasive issue of misconceptions in biochemistry education. Recognizing the hindrance these misconceptions pose to effective learning, the project aims to apply student-centered design and constructivist epistemology within the context of Ignatian Pedagogy to reveal and rectify these misconceptions. By collaborating with faculty members from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, we will develop diagnostic tools, reliable tests, and investigate teaching strategies to enhance the quality of biochemistry education. The research will be conducted in two phases, spanning from Fall 2023 to Spring 2025, with the goal of providing evidence-based teaching strategies and valuable insights into the identification and resolution of misconceptions in challenging biochemistry topics. Dissemination of findings will occur through presentations at prominent conferences and publication in reputable journals in Chemistry Education Research. This project aspires to make a lasting impact on biochemistry education and contribute to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
UMiB: Uncovering Misconceptions in Biochemistry SCDCE: Student-Centered Design and Constructivist Epistemology
Background and Motivation: This project aims to address the persistent issue of student misconceptions in biochemistry, which hinder effective learning and understanding of fundamental concepts in the field. Misconceptions can often go unnoticed, and addressing them is crucial for improving the quality of education in STEM disciplines. The motivation behind this research is to explore innovative pedagogical approaches that can reveal and rectify misconceptions in biochemistry courses. We are particularly interested in the application of student-centered design and constructivist epistemology within the context of Ignatian Pedagogy to achieve this goal.
Collaborative Approach: This project will foster collaboration between the researchers and faculty members from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Together, we will pool our expertise to identify misconceptions through diagnostic tools, develop reliable tests, and investigate teaching strategies employed by faculty members. By combining research and pedagogy, we will evaluate the effectiveness of these pedagogical approaches in addressing student misconceptions.
- Research Phases:
Phase 1 (Fall 2023 - Spring 2024): During this initial phase, we will identify faculty members teaching biochemistry and pinpoint challenging topics within their courses. We will develop a two-tier diagnostic instrument by conducting surveys, gathering student misconceptions, and constructing second-tier items. A pilot study will be conducted, and construct validity and reliability studies will be established.
Phase 2 (Fall 2024 - Spring 2025): This phase will involve gathering additional data and conducting comparative studies. We will determine if the knowledge of misconceptions from the prior year influences teaching strategies employed by professors, and whether these adjustments result in the elimination of student misconceptions.
Pedagogical Frameworks: We will employ student-centered design, constructivist epistemology, and the Ignatian Pedagogy framework as our guiding principles. These pedagogical frameworks will be utilized to design interventions that uncover and address misconceptions in general chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry courses.
Outcomes and Contribution: The research project aims to make significant contributions to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) by providing evidence-based teaching strategies. These strategies will support student-centered design and constructivism in biochemistry courses. The project outcomes will offer valuable insights into the teaching and learning process, especially in the context of identifying and addressing misconceptions related to challenging topics in biochemistry. Ultimately, the research will enhance students’ ability to master key concepts and improve overall learning outcomes.
- Research Dissemination: To share our findings and contribute to the broader academic community, we plan to present the results from pilot studies and main data collections at major conferences in Chemistry Education Research. This includes conferences like the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education and the National Association for Research in Science Teaching International Conference. Additionally, we will submit manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Chemical Education (JCE), Chemistry Education Research and Practice (CERP), and the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST). This dissemination strategy ensures that our research findings are accessible to educators, researchers, and practitioners in the field, promoting the adoption of effective teaching strategies and pedagogical approaches in biochemistry education.
In conclusion, this research project is driven by a passion for improving biochemistry education through innovative pedagogical approaches. By collaborating with faculty members, applying student-centered design and constructivist epistemology, and disseminating our findings widely, we aim to make a lasting impact on the teaching and learning of biochemistry and contribute valuable insights to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
1. Revolutionizing Biochemistry Education: UMiB-SCDCE Project 01 Nov 2023