09-12-2022  Friday


Ph.D. Synopsis Seminar by Ms. Sujatha Varadarajan

Date: 09 December, 2022
Time: 14:30 - 15:30

Venue: Main Building Lecture Room - G1

Coordinator: Dean's Office

Ms. Sujatha Varadarajan will be presenting her Ph.D. synopsis seminar on Friday, December 9, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. in a hybrid mode. The physical venue is Room G1 in the Main Building at HBCSE

and the Zoom link is https://hbcse-tifr-res-in.zoom.us/j/99511260316?pwd=elZJYzdMUlhzbjVmdDQvamJXNkpLQT09 (or use Meeting ID: 995 1126 0316 / Passcode: 841298).

The duration of the seminar will be 45 minutes followed by questions and answers.


Problem-Based Learning in Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratories in India


My research study explored the feasibility of implementing inquiry-based approaches in Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratories. The study focussed on colleges affiliated with the university system in India. The two premises at the start of my study were, a) there is a need to present a holistic approach to laboratory experience by integrating different domains of chemistry and b) it is important to provide adequate time for the learner to engage with the inquiry-based tasks to learn the process of inquiry.

I went through the CER literature to understand what the researchers think of as the goals of laboratory learning. Further, a survey was carried out to understand the teachers' and students' perceptions of the goals. To extend my understanding, I analyzed two representative laboratory manuals to infer the kind of instructional style adopted by the colleges in the region where my study is situated. Additionally, a pilot study was conducted to check the feasibility of implementing inquiry in the laboratory. Based on all this learning, I designed a short inquiry-based course on Indigo Dye. It adopted, a) an incremental approach to introducing inquiry-based modules, and b) a scaffolded approach to introduce Problem-Based Learning (PBL).

My research study had two components. The first one explored the role of scaffolds in helping learners devise the Experimental Design (ED) in a PBL environment. This study was conducted at HBCSE, TIFR, and in the authentic setting of a students' college. The second component of the study explored the implementation of the short course which, a) integrates different domains of chemistry, b) introduces inquiry incrementally, and c) covers PBL experimental module as a higher level of inquiry. This study has been conducted in an authentic setting as a case study spread over a longer duration of four months. I tried to understand the Science Practice Skills gained through the course with four sequential experiments. Both studies have been conducted with first-year undergraduate students.

Our results indicate that the incremental approach is a promising way to transit students from conventional to inquiry-based labs and it enhances the science practice skills of students. Additionally, for PBL-based experimental modules, scaffolds play a crucial role to help students develop meaningful experimental designs.

All are invited to attend the seminar. Tea will be served after the seminar (near the G1 room).