Effectiveness of case-based learning instruction on students’ understanding of solubility equilibrium concepts

Çam, Aylin
The main purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of case- based learning method instruction over traditional method instruction on eleventh grade high school students’ understanding of solubility equilibrium concepts. In addition, students’ attitudes toward chemistry as a school subject and students’ epistemological beliefs were investigated. Sixty-two eleventh grade students from two classes of a chemistry course taught by the same teacher in Atakent High School in 2007-2008 spring semesters were enrolled in the study. The classes were randomly assigned as experimental and control group. Experimental group students instructed by case-based learning method in which specific situations, generally real-life examples were discussed. On the other hand, control group students were instructed by traditional method. Solubility Concept Test was administered as a pre-test to both groups. Moreover, Attitude Scale toward chemistry and Epistemological Belief Scale about chemistry were administered as a pre- and post-tests to all groups. Solubility Equilibrium Concept Test and Open-Ended Solubility Equilibrium Concept Test were administered as a post-test to all groups. The results showed that case based learning instruction produced significantly greater achievement in understanding of solubility equilibrium than the traditional instruction. Also, there was a significant difference between the experimental and the control group with respect to their epistemological beliefs and attitudes toward chemistry as a school subject in the favor of experimental group. Results obtained revealed that students have several misconceptions related to solubility equilibrium. Case based learning was effective for remediation of misconceptions and enhancing students’ understanding in comparison to traditional method.