A cognitive apprenticeship approach to teaching organic chemistry online: Challenges and opportunities

Charisse T Reyes, Rubielita F Gata and Evelyn B Rodriguez
University of the Philippines Open University

Los Baņos, the Philippines

Organic chemistry involves the study of the structure, properties and reactions of the compounds of carbon. This sub-discipline of chemistry usually requires laboratory instruction to facilitates students' understanding. In an online learning environment, employing laboratory instruction is quite challenging. Learning chemistry through the online mode may be limited to the use of either a virtual laboratory or a laboratory at a distance, both of which involve a distant mentor or facilitator. In this paper, the authors explore the possibility of applying the cognitive apprenticeship model to online teaching of the subject. The experiences of the authors in teaching organic chemistry face-to-face and facilitating learning by distance and online modes is shared to demonstrate how the four dimensions of ideal learning (content, method, sequence and sociology) and their components are incorporated in the design and development of strategies of instruction in organic chemistry. Moreover, in this paper, the authors discuss some new trends in teaching organic chemistry, such as student-centred learning, a problem-based approach and resource-based learning.