The Chemistry Discovery Center provides a team-based, student-centered supplement to UMBC’s traditional introductory chemistry lecture courses. In weekly two-hour Discovery Learning sessions, students work in teams to solve problems designed to promote teamwork, develop good study skills and practice critical-thinking. Over the course of the semester, students rotate through four different roles within the team, training in supervision, record keeping, data collection/treatment, and result dissemination. These skills are essential to success in life and all future endeavors.
Discovery Learning has resulted in improved overall student performance in the courses in which it is used and allowed UMBC to raise its standards for all students in these courses. Since the establishment of the Chemistry Discovery Center, the failure rate has been cut in half with significantly more A’s and B’s. This success has been met simultaneously with a significant increase in overall student retention in these courses.