An Application of Context- and Problem-Based Learning (C-PBL) into Teaching Thermodynamics

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Baran M., Sözbilir M.

RESEARCH IN SCIENCE EDUCATION, vol.48, pp.663-689, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11165-016-9583-1
  • Page Numbers: pp.663-689


This study aims to investigate the applicability of context- and problem-based learning (C-PBL) into teaching thermodynamics and to examine its influence on the students' achievements in chemistry, retention of knowledge, students' attitudes, motivation and interest towards chemistry. The embedded mixed method design was utilized with a group of 13 chemistry students in a 2-year program of "Medical Laboratory and Techniques" at a state university in an underdeveloped city at the southeastern region of Turkey. The research data were collected via questionnaires regarding the students' attitudes, motivation and interest in chemistry, an achievement test on "thermodynamics" and interviews utilized to find out the applicability of C-PBL into thermodynamics. The findings demonstrated that C-PBL led a statistically significant increase in the students' achievement in thermodynamics and their interest in chemistry, while no statistically significant difference was observed in the students' attitudes and motivation towards chemistry before and after the intervention. The interviews revealed that C-PBL developed not only the students' communication skills but also their skills in using time effectively, making presentations, reporting research results and using technology. It was also found to increase their self-confidence together with the positive attitudes towards C-PBL and being able to associate chemistry with daily life. In light of these findings, it could be stated that it will be beneficial to increase the use of C-PBL in teaching chemistry.