Chemistry Crosswords: Learning Activities to Support Non-Taditional Students in Third Level Education.

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Physical chemistry


Diversity of students entering third level science education has been widely discussed and attributed to the government policy on widening of participation in education. This has led to an enhanced number of “non traditional” students entering third level courses in Ireland. The diversity of the current third level student body may be attributed to the raised awareness of students with learning difficulties and also to the increase in multi cultural students in Irish third level colleges. One learning strategy that has been introduced into the teaching practice of first year chemistry courses in the Technological University Dublin has been the use of Chemistry Crosswords. There are many advantages of the Crosswords as a support tool as they; engage students in a “fun” learning activity are designed to revise course work helps students with learning difficulties and students in which English is not their first language to spell chemistry terms correctly in the assigned boxes can be designed to engage the students cognitive skills the crossword design software is free from the web and extremely user friendly may be printed as hard copies and/or may be hosted as an interactive webpage in a Virtual learning environment (VLE) e.g. WebCT for multiple attempts as part of the students formative assessment. This paper is to illustrate the ease of design for the academic staff, show examples of chemistry crosswords and to view student feedback on the use of the chemistry crosswords as a learning activity



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