Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Cassandra Eagle

Committee Members

Scott Kirkby Anna Hiatt


Traditional chemistry laboratory courses have a manual consisting of “step-by-step” experiments; instructions are given to complete experiments, requiring minimal information/concepts processing to be successful. This experience leaves students unprepared for the real-world, where critical thinking skills are needed to conduct research. This study focused on building analytical techniques, conceptual knowledge, and critical thinking skills used to solve research problems. A new quantitative chemistry laboratory manual was developed to transition students from traditional to inquiry-based experiments, requiring analytical method development. Data showed students having less difficulty using the new manual (0.8281 average difficulty) on method development exam questions and experiments, compared to the traditional manual (0.600 average difficulty). T-test showed significant difference between item difficulty, p = 0.029. Using null hypotheses, the new laboratory manual led to an increase in students’ conceptual knowledge and research skills. They were able to use their knowledge and skills to successfully solve real-world related problems.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.