Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education


How does the degree or level of inquiry-based laboratory instruction impact student performance and student perseverance in the laboratory portion of a first-semester general chemistry course? In 2008, a two-year community college sought to answer this question by replacing the traditional verification laboratory curriculum with a guided-inquiry laboratory curriculum. This change provided a case study of the 'new' guided-inquiry curriculum vs. the 'old' traditional verification cuniculum. Researchers used a modified for college instruction version of The Continuum of Scientific Inquiry Rubric (Fay, Grove, Towns, & Bretz, 2007) to assess both laboratory curricula, to determine the level of inquiry incorporated into each laboratory experiment as well as the inquiry levels of both laboratory curricula overall. Student performance was evaluated via laboratory report average final grades and individual laboratory report scores, while student perseverance was measured by comparing overall completion rates of laboratory reports and student withdrawal rates for each laboratory curriculum to determine if any relationships exist between level( s) of inquiry and student performance and student perseverance.