Title: Colligative Properties of Solutions
Grade Level/Subject: 11th Grade Chemistry
Lesson Description: In this lesson the students will be studying the following colligative properties of solutions: freezing point depression, boiling point elevation and vapor pressure. The students will begin with a video introduction where key concepts are introduced. They will then work through a virtual lab that allows them to manipulate variables and study their impact on the various colligative properties of solutions. Lastly, the students will investigate colligative properties in everyday life.
The main Content (C) of this lesson is the relationship between the number of particles dissolved in solution and their colligative properties.
The main Pedagogy (P) of this lesson is inquiry based learning through virtual experimentation.
The main Technology (T) of this lesson is video introduction via computer followed by a virtual lab activity.
Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)
Describe: Solutions are something that students have exposure to every day yet they have a difficult time visualizing what is taking place in a solution. The inquiry lab is designed so that the students can manipulate the many variables that impact the colligative properties of solutions (i.e. boiling point, freezing point, vapor pressure). Inquiry learning allows the student to collect and analyze data just as they would in a classroom lab. The video introduction gives them the necessary background to understand each of the variables prior to manipulating them in the virtual lab. If time permits, the students will run a solutions lab in class where a group discussion will take place at the end. Lastly, having the students investigate the role of colligative properties in their daily lives, their assessment, leads to greater retention and a deeper understanding of the content.
Support: Virtual labs provide students with many benefits. The simulations are interactive exercises which help students integrate multiple concepts, increase retention and provide motivation for learning. (Chu, 1999) Many simulations have a game-like appeal that also increase motivation and retention. Students have the freedom to investigate the variables in a variety of combinations.
Technological Content Knowledge (TCK)
Describe: The videos chosen allow for the lesson to offer a 2-fold approach. The first video is brief but introduces the key terminology that will be applied in the second video and the virtual lab. The students will need to have a working knowledge of the key terms before attempting the virtual lab. The second video essentially acts as a pre-lab for the virtual simulation. The Iowa State virtual lab allows students to experiment and create a visual representation of what is taking place on a very small scale within a solution.
Support: Being able to model what is happening in a real-life lab helps to prepare students for a time when they actually work in a Chemistry lab. (Delgamo, 2009) Any program that helps to make a concept more concrete leads to a deeper understanding of the content.
Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)
Having the students build a working vocabulary and model the concept prior to working in lab always makes the lab experience more meaningful. Modeling concepts allows the students to explain what is taking place on a microscopic scale which in turn explains what they are seeing on a macroscopic level. The virtual lab experience allows for learning on a synthesis level. An inquiry experience, such as virtual labs, requires the student to collect data, analyze it and then predict changes based on their experiences. Students learn how to integrate content and hands-on learning.
Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)
Solutions are something that students come in contact with on a daily basis. We cover this topic in the spring when students are taking AP exams and often miss class. Having the students take notes on the videos is the first exposure to the key terms in this lesson. Using those same terms in the virtual lab helps the students to be able to visualize the structure of a solution. Lastly, deeper learning takes place when the students are asked to research and explain how colligative properties pertain to real world products.
Chu, K. C. (n.d.). What are the benefits of a virtual laboratory for student learning? HERDSA Annual International Conference, Melbourne, 12-15 July 1999 (pp. 1-9).
Delgamo, B., Bishop, A. G., Adlong, W., & Bedgood, D. R., Jr. (2009, June 16). Effectiveness of a Virtual Laboratory as a preparatory resource for Distance Education chemistry students. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S036013150900116X