, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 249-260
Date: 22 May 2007

Teaching Chemical Equilibrium with the Jigsaw Technique

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Abstract

This study investigates the effect of cooperative learning (jigsaw) versus individual learning methods on students’ understanding of chemical equilibrium in a first-year general chemistry course. This study was carried out in two different classes in the department of primary science education during the 2005–2006 academic year. One of the classes was randomly assigned as the non-jigsaw group (control) and other as the jigsaw group (cooperative). Students participating in the jigsaw group were divided into four “home groups” since the topic chemical equilibrium is divided into four subtopics (Modules A, B, C and D). Each of these home groups contained four students. The groups were as follows: (1) Home Group A (HGA), representing the equilibrium state and quantitative aspects of equilibrium (Module A), (2) Home Group B (HGB), representing the equilibrium constant and relationships involving equilibrium constants (Module B), (3) Home Group C (HGC), representing Altering Equilibrium Conditions: Le Chatelier’s principle (Module C), and (4) Home Group D (HGD), representing calculations with equilibrium constants (Module D). The home groups then broke apart, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and the students moved into jigsaw groups consisting of members from the other home groups who were assigned the same portion of the material. The jigsaw groups were then in charge of teaching their specific subtopic to the rest of the students in their learning group. The main data collection tool was a Chemical Equilibrium Achievement Test (CEAT), which was applied to both the jigsaw and non-jigsaw groups The results indicated that the jigsaw group was more successful than the non-jigsaw group (individual learning method).