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Project Based Learning in General Chemistry to Develop the Problem-Solving and Creativity

Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Bui Thi Hanh, Tran Trung Ninh
American Journal of Educational Research. 2020, 8(7), 475-479. DOI: 10.12691/education-8-7-4
Received May 28, 2020; Revised June 29, 2020; Accepted July 08, 2020

Abstract

Project Based Learning is one of the modern learning methods. However, at present there are not many project-based learning materials to develop problem-solving and creative capabilities for students of technical universities in Vietnam. Therefore, the research and application of project-based learning through the general chemistry module to develop problem-solving and creative capacity for students is very necessary. This article will be introduced the general chemistry course under the project based learning method to develop problem-solving and creative capacity for technical university students.

1. Introduction

Currently, higher education in Vietnam is being concerned to improve the quality of training to meet the requirements of the country's development career. Thomas J. Vallely and Ben Wilkinson, 2008 at Harvard's Kennedy school, wrote about crisis and solutions for the development of higher education in Vietnam 1. However, Ngo Tu Lap, Director of the Francophone International Institute (IFI) said that the crisis of higher education in Vietnam was a crisis of development 2. In the process of fundamental and comprehensive renovation of education, innovating teaching methods is very interested in Vietnam 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. The project based learning is one of the modern learning methods, attracting the attention of many teachers, lectures and educational researchers 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Nguyen Ngoc Duy has developed a set of assessment tools for problem solving and creativity for high school students in teaching non-metallic chemistry projects 14. At technical universities in Vietnam, the general chemistry course is taught with a duration of 45 hours (equivalent to 03 credits), applied to first-year students. With a rich amount of knowledge, skills and practical relevance, it is possible to apply project based learning to develop problem-solving and creative capabilities for students.

2. Research Content

2.1. Concept of Creative Problem Solving and Creativity

So far, the concept of problem-solving and creativity has many different definitions that reflect the different aspects of this concept. However, according to the concept of competency outlined in the document 3, “Problem solving and creativity in learning is the ability to solve learning problems to find new things to some degree. In order to be able to solve problems and be creative, the subject must be in a problematic situation, find ways to resolve cognitive or action conflicts and as a result, devise new solutions to solve them.” Problem solving and creative capacity structure includes five components: Identify and clarify problems; forming and deploying new ideas; proposing and selecting solutions; implementation and evaluation of problem solving solutions; creative thinking. Each element includes a number of individual behaviors when working in groups or working independently in problem solving.

From the research results of problem solving and teaching practice of general chemistry course at technical university, we propose the expression of students' ability to solve problems and creativity through teaching. Study under the project as follows:

2.2. Project Based Learning

Project based learning is an important method to implement learner-oriented teaching perspective. Project based learning helps develop 21st century skills through open tasks, encouraging learners to explore and actualize the knowledge learned in the implementation process and create products by yourself. Project based learning contributes to link theory with practice, thinking and action, schools and society, actively participates in the training of autonomy, creativity, solving complex problems, sense of responsibility and the ability to collaborate and work for learners.

Project Based Learning has been widely applied in the world, but it is still quite new in Vietnam. Although there are different interpretations on the project, the authors Nguyen Thi Dieu Thao 9, Vu Thi Yen 10 and Pham Hong Bac 11 all think that the project is an operational plan, with target, clear purpose, implemented under defined conditions. As such, the Project is an operational plan aimed at achieving a predetermined goal, carried out under certain conditions, limited by time, manpower and material resources. Phan Dong Chau Thuy author 12 wrote that “A project is a plan, a specific plan to accomplish a certain goal, to be implemented within a limited time period, with the defined human, material and financial resources to satisfy needs of the people that the project targets. Learning projects should be linked to learning products, this product is created by learners under the guidance of lecturers.

The eight characteristics of the project based learning (PBL) are shown in Figure 1.

Why apply project based learning? The answer of this question is shown in Figure 2.

Since then, we believe that: In Project Based Learning, students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice skills such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking. Project Based Learning helps make learning relevant to students by establishing connections to life outside the classroom and by addressing real world issues. In the high education, Project Based Learning gives lecturers an opportunity to build relationships with students by acting as their coach, facilitator, and co-learner.

2.3. The Process of the Project Based Learning

There are many ways to divide the stages of a project based learning process 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. With the goal of developing students' problem-solving and creativity capacities, the process of project based learning includes 05 phase as follows:

Phase 1. Project construction. Lecturers propose ideas on the topic of a learning project by giving a problematic situation or a task to be solved. The project name may be proposed by lecturers, students or groups but must ensure that the content is consistent with the learning goals, program content and practical conditions. Facilitators can also introduce a number of topics for students to choose, discuss, and clearly identify the goals, the requirements to be achieved by the project. Lecturers divide the class into groups to suit the tasks of the project, with the capacity of each student.

Phase 2. Planning the implementation. Students discuss in groups the goals of the project, come up with solutions and choose a project implementation solution, identify the tasks to be done, then split the work and assign it to real team members. show up. Tasks of each group and individual should be specific, detailed on the content of work, how to proceed, and time for completion. Lecturers base on the project goals, project execution time fund and student deployment plan to get suggestions and corrections to help students implement the right direction.

Phase 3. Project implementation. During this period, active groups take the initiative in carrying out their assigned tasks, seeking specialized knowledge related to the learning project. While implementing a learning project, students need to increase exchanges between team members and between groups. Especially, when implementing a project, students need to stick to their goals to make timely adjustments. Instructors need to monitor and adjust student activities so that the project implementation process reaches the set goals.

Phase 4. Report the project results. The results of the project are products that can be introduced, presented to the group or in front of the class. The students can introduce the results such as reports, presentation, infographic, etc...

Phase 5. Evaluation of project results. The process of assessing results may be conducted by individuals or groups who self-assess the results of themselves, groups, individuals or other groups. Lectures are the last person to evaluate and make general comments about the project implementation process and the products obtained. Then propose ideas of new projects.

2.4. A Case Study Project “The shift of chemical equilibrium and life”
2.4.1. Objective of the Project

After the project, students achieve the following goals:

- About knowledge: Through the project, students can present the concept of the equilibrium constants Kc, Kp; Factors affecting chemical equilibrium include concentration, temperature, pressure.

- About skills: Detecting and bringing out some practical problems, solving problems through known knowledge; collecting information and processing information; Cooperate in teamwork, plan and perform personal tasks to accomplish common team tasks. Idea, product design. Experimental organization.

- Attitude: Raising awareness of environmental protection, caring, protecting and taking care of ourselves and others; actively take the initiative in planning scientifically and effectively; improve the spirit of cooperation, teamwork.

- Regarding capacity development: Capacity for problem solving and creativity; Competence in using digital technology; Communication and cooperation competence; Self-learning ability.


2.4.2. Progress of the Project Based Learning

The process of teaching under the project "The equilibrium and life shift" in teaching general chemistry to technical university students to develop problem-solving and creative capacity is carried out as the Table 2 follows:


2.4.3. Assess Problem Solving and Creativity

To assess the level of developing problem-solving and creative capacity for students through teaching under the general chemistry module project at technical universities, we have built a evaluation toolkit. This set of tools has a combination of observation checklist assessing of problem solving and creativity and writing test. The writing test is specially designed according to the criteria of problem solving and creativity. The observation checklist evaluating problem solving and creativity is showed in Table 3.

2.3. The Pedagogical Experiment

In the 2018-2019 academic year, conducting pedagogical experiments for first-year students at 3 universities (University of Information Technology and Communications - Thai Nguyen University; Hanoi University of Industry; An giang University - Ho Chi Minh National University), experimenting with the project "The shift of chemical equilibrium and life” ; Pedagogical experiment with the participation of 04 lecturers (Nguyen Ngoc Tuan; Ma Thi Van Ha; Nguyen Duc Hai; Trang Quang Vinh) with 124 students in 03 experimental classes. Conducted assessment of students' problem-solving and creativity abilities through observation checklist; the written test is used for the experimental and control classes after teaching experiments to assess students' ability to solve problems and creativity.

Assessment of problem-solving and creative ability for students through checklist of pre-impact and post-impact observation is presented in Table 4.

Based on the above-mentioned statistics and data analysis, the students' ability to solve problems and creativity after studying the project has been significantly improved. Independent T-test less than 0.05 showed that the difference of average points before and after the impact is statistically significant. ES = 1.72 at the impact level of the large impact. From that, it can be concluded that teaching under the general chemistry module project is effective and highly feasible, can be widely applied in technical universities.

In addition, the special tests are designed to assess students' ability to problem solving and creativity.

The cumulative results of the experimental and control classes test points are shown in Figure 3.

The graph of accumulated test scores of experimental class is always on the right and below the cumulative lines of the control class. This proves that the students of the experimental classes meet the requirements and goals of the PBL better than students in the control class. Pedagogical experiment results assessed through 124 tests (63 control students, 61 experimental students), are presented in Table 5.

The average score of experimental classes is higher than the control classes. However, it is impossible to conclude that project based learning is more effective than traditional teaching. The independent T-test has p = 1.4 * 10-8 <0.05. So it can be seen that the difference in the average score of the experimental classes and the control classes is not likely to occur randomly but by the impact of project based learning.

3. Conclusions

Project based learning is very effective and necessary for higher education in Vietnam today, in order to stimulate creativity, passion, scientific discovery for students, meeting the needs of high quality human resource training for the country's sustainable development. Through learning in the project "The shift chemical equilibrium and life" has developed the ability to solve problems and creativity for students, this makes the general chemistry course closer to life of the students, combining theory with real life, applying scientific and technical advances. The results of pedagogical experiment confirmed the improvement of problem solving ability and creativity of experimental students after the impact is higher than before impact is statistically significant and this research has a coefficient. The impact is to a large extent, so it can be replicated.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank to the University of Information Technology and Communications - Thai Nguyen University; Hanoi University of Industry; An giang University - Ho Chi Minh National University have helped complete the pedagogical experiment.

References

[1]  Thomas J. Vallely và Ben Wilkinson, (2008). Vietnamese Higher Education: Crisis and Response, Memorandum Higher Education Task Force, Harvard Kenedy School, Ash Institute.
In article      
 
[2]  Ngo Tu Lap (2017), Vietnam's education crisis is a crisis of development, World security last month online, available at http://antgct.cand.com.vn/Tro-chuyen-cuoi-thang/&giuathang- Tien-si-Ngo-Tu-Lap-Vien-truong-Vien-Quoc-te-Phap-Ngu-IFI- Khung-hoang-giao-duc-Viet-Nam-la-khung-hoang-cua-phat-trien-448930/.
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[3]  Ministry of Education and Training (2018), General Education Program - Master Program (Issued together with Circular No. 32/2018, December 26, 2018 of the Minister of Education and Training), Hanoi.
In article      
 
[4]  Tran Trung Ninh, Tran The Sang, Doan Thanh Tuong (2019). Teaching some STEM themes to develop capacity resolve problems and creativity for students, Proceedings of 1st International Conference on innovation of teacher education, Twenty years of development a model for inter- institutional teacher training, pp188-196.
In article      
 
[5]  Vu Phuong Lien, Tran Thi Van Trang, Tran Trung Ninh (2018), Evaluate Students’ Collaborative Problem-Solving Skills Through an Experiential Approach to Teach Non-metals (A Case Study in High School of Education Sciences and Viet Duc High School in Hanoi, Vietnam) World Journal of Chemical Education, 2018, Vol. 6, No. 4, 190-199.
In article      
 
[6]  Tran Trung Ninh, Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy (2018) Applying WebQuest method in teaching chemistry for grade 10 to assess students’ collaboration problem solving skills, Journal of Education, No 444 (Vol 2 - 12/2018), pp 37-41.
In article      
 
[7]  Tran Trung Ninh, Vu Phuong Lien (2018), Collaborative problem-solving competency of students through teaching chemistry in high school, Journal of Educational Sciences, Vol 2, pp40-49.
In article      
 
[8]  Tran Thi Hue, Nguyen Duc Dung (2018). Develop the problem solving and creativity for student through some chemistry exercises nitrogen chapter (Chemistry Grade 11 advande). Journal of Education. Special number in June/2018, pp 194-199.
In article      
 
[9]  Nguyen Thi Dieu Thao (2008). Project Based Learning and apply in teacher training for family’s economy. Doctoral Thesis in Education, Ha noi National University of Education.
In article      
 
[10]  Vu Thi Yen (2014). "Applying project-based learning in teaching quantitative analytical chemistry at the University of Pedagogy" Doctoral Thesis in Education, Hanoi National University of Education.
In article      
 
[11]  Pham Hong Bac (2014), "Applying the project-based learning method in teaching non-metallic chemistry in high school chemistry program" Doctoral Thesis in Education, Hanoi National University of Education.
In article      
 
[12]  Phan Dong Chau Thuy (2014). Project-based learning and application in chemical teacher training at pedagogical universities. Doctoral Thesis in Education, Hanoi National University of Education.
In article      
 
[13]  Kilpatrick. W.H (1918). The project method: The use of the purposeful act in the education process. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.
In article      
 
[14]  Nguyen Ngoc Duy (2018). Design tools to assess the problem-solving and creativity for students in the northern mountainous provinces through project based learning in chemistry, Vietnam Journal of Education, No 443 (Vol 1 - 12/2018), pp 47-53.
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2020 Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Bui Thi Hanh and Tran Trung Ninh

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Cite this article:

Normal Style
Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Bui Thi Hanh, Tran Trung Ninh. Project Based Learning in General Chemistry to Develop the Problem-Solving and Creativity. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 8, No. 7, 2020, pp 475-479. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/8/7/4
MLA Style
Tuan, Nguyen Ngoc, Bui Thi Hanh, and Tran Trung Ninh. "Project Based Learning in General Chemistry to Develop the Problem-Solving and Creativity." American Journal of Educational Research 8.7 (2020): 475-479.
APA Style
Tuan, N. N. , Hanh, B. T. , & Ninh, T. T. (2020). Project Based Learning in General Chemistry to Develop the Problem-Solving and Creativity. American Journal of Educational Research, 8(7), 475-479.
Chicago Style
Tuan, Nguyen Ngoc, Bui Thi Hanh, and Tran Trung Ninh. "Project Based Learning in General Chemistry to Develop the Problem-Solving and Creativity." American Journal of Educational Research 8, no. 7 (2020): 475-479.
Share
[1]  Thomas J. Vallely và Ben Wilkinson, (2008). Vietnamese Higher Education: Crisis and Response, Memorandum Higher Education Task Force, Harvard Kenedy School, Ash Institute.
In article      
 
[2]  Ngo Tu Lap (2017), Vietnam's education crisis is a crisis of development, World security last month online, available at http://antgct.cand.com.vn/Tro-chuyen-cuoi-thang/&giuathang- Tien-si-Ngo-Tu-Lap-Vien-truong-Vien-Quoc-te-Phap-Ngu-IFI- Khung-hoang-giao-duc-Viet-Nam-la-khung-hoang-cua-phat-trien-448930/.
In article      
 
[3]  Ministry of Education and Training (2018), General Education Program - Master Program (Issued together with Circular No. 32/2018, December 26, 2018 of the Minister of Education and Training), Hanoi.
In article      
 
[4]  Tran Trung Ninh, Tran The Sang, Doan Thanh Tuong (2019). Teaching some STEM themes to develop capacity resolve problems and creativity for students, Proceedings of 1st International Conference on innovation of teacher education, Twenty years of development a model for inter- institutional teacher training, pp188-196.
In article      
 
[5]  Vu Phuong Lien, Tran Thi Van Trang, Tran Trung Ninh (2018), Evaluate Students’ Collaborative Problem-Solving Skills Through an Experiential Approach to Teach Non-metals (A Case Study in High School of Education Sciences and Viet Duc High School in Hanoi, Vietnam) World Journal of Chemical Education, 2018, Vol. 6, No. 4, 190-199.
In article      
 
[6]  Tran Trung Ninh, Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy (2018) Applying WebQuest method in teaching chemistry for grade 10 to assess students’ collaboration problem solving skills, Journal of Education, No 444 (Vol 2 - 12/2018), pp 37-41.
In article      
 
[7]  Tran Trung Ninh, Vu Phuong Lien (2018), Collaborative problem-solving competency of students through teaching chemistry in high school, Journal of Educational Sciences, Vol 2, pp40-49.
In article      
 
[8]  Tran Thi Hue, Nguyen Duc Dung (2018). Develop the problem solving and creativity for student through some chemistry exercises nitrogen chapter (Chemistry Grade 11 advande). Journal of Education. Special number in June/2018, pp 194-199.
In article      
 
[9]  Nguyen Thi Dieu Thao (2008). Project Based Learning and apply in teacher training for family’s economy. Doctoral Thesis in Education, Ha noi National University of Education.
In article      
 
[10]  Vu Thi Yen (2014). "Applying project-based learning in teaching quantitative analytical chemistry at the University of Pedagogy" Doctoral Thesis in Education, Hanoi National University of Education.
In article      
 
[11]  Pham Hong Bac (2014), "Applying the project-based learning method in teaching non-metallic chemistry in high school chemistry program" Doctoral Thesis in Education, Hanoi National University of Education.
In article      
 
[12]  Phan Dong Chau Thuy (2014). Project-based learning and application in chemical teacher training at pedagogical universities. Doctoral Thesis in Education, Hanoi National University of Education.
In article      
 
[13]  Kilpatrick. W.H (1918). The project method: The use of the purposeful act in the education process. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.
In article      
 
[14]  Nguyen Ngoc Duy (2018). Design tools to assess the problem-solving and creativity for students in the northern mountainous provinces through project based learning in chemistry, Vietnam Journal of Education, No 443 (Vol 1 - 12/2018), pp 47-53.
In article