Ellis, Robert and Gabriel, Tim (2010) Context‐based learning for beginners: CBL and non‐traditional students. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 15 (2). pp. 129-140. ISSN 1359-6748

Problem‐based learning (PBL) and Context‐based learning (CBL) are often cited as having a positive impact on student learning. However, the discourse of these innovative teaching approaches often centres on gifted and/or experienced learners. The aim of this article is to report on the development of resources for a mixed ability cohort of foundation science students. Taking PBL as its inspiration, this article charts a move to a context‐based approach and provides evidence of its impact on students with different experiences and understanding of chemistry, and different long‐term aspirations in the field. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative research undertaken with students, this study suggests that the impact of CBL, is potentially greater for students with a limited experience of, or longer‐term interest in, chemistry.

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