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  • Views of German chemistry teachers on creativity in chemistry classes and in general
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-04-13
    Luzie Semmler, Verena Pietzner

    Creativity has become an increasingly important competence in today's rapidly changing times, because economics and industries depend on innovation. Creativity is therefore a requirement for school graduates, especially for the ones who strive to pursue a technical or scientific career. But creativity has not been integrated into the curricula of STEM subjects in many European countries like Germany. To successfully integrate it in the classroom, it is important to investigate teachers' views and conceptions on creativity, because they have an influence on teaching and lesson planning. This is the purpose of this study. To investigate the views and conceptions, a research instrument especially designed for this study is used. It includes the creation of two concept maps and filling out a questionnaire. The study was carried out using fifteen German chemistry teachers. The evaluation of the data was made qualitatively as well as quantitatively. It has revealed that almost all of the teachers in this study had a positive attitude towards creativity and had experiences referring to integrating creativity into their own chemistry lessons. But not all of these experiences are good ones and there were some aspects with regard to creativity in general, where uncertainties could be identified.

    更新日期:2018-04-20
  • Organic chemistry students' challenges with coherence formation between reactions and reaction coordinate diagrams
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-04-16
    Maia Popova, Stacey Lowery Bretz

    The purpose of this study was to elucidate and describe students' thinking when making connections between substitution and elimination reactions and their corresponding reaction coordinate diagrams. Thirty-six students enrolled in organic chemistry II participated in individual, semi-structured interviews. Three major themes were identified that characterize students' difficulties with integrating the information from the reactions and the reaction coordinate diagrams: incorrect ideas about the meanings of the reaction coordinate diagrams' features, errors when examining reaction mechanisms, and an inability to assess the relative energies of reaction species. These findings suggest that students need support for coherence formation between reactions and reaction coordinate diagrams. Implications for teaching to address these student difficulties are suggested.

    更新日期:2018-04-17
  • Can language focussed activities improve understanding of chemical language in non-traditional students?
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-04-16
    Simon William Rees, Vanessa Kind

    Students commonly find the language of chemistry challenging and a barrier to developing understanding. This study investigated developments in chemical language understanding by a group of non-traditional students over the duration of a one year pre-undergraduate (Foundation) course at a UK university. The chemistry course was designed to include a range of literacy based strategies to promote understanding including: word games, corpus linguistics, word roots and origins, and reading comprehension. Understanding of chemical language was assessed with a chemical language assessment (CLA) that was administered three times during the year. The CLA assessed understanding of scientific affixes, symbolic language, non-technical words, technical words, fundamental words and topic-specific vocabulary. Results indicate that chemical language understanding improved over the duration of the study with moderate to large effect sizes. Students who scored low in the initial CLA (below 40%) improved but their scores remained lower than the rest of the students at the end of the year. The topic-specific and technical sections scored low for all students at the start of the year and remained the lowest at the end of the year. Examples of symbolic and non-technical language remained problematic for some students at the end of the year. There was a correlation (r=0.53) between initial CLA score and final exam outcomes although some students with low initial CLA scores did perform well in the final exam. These findings are discussed in relation to the role of literacy based strategies in chemistry teaching.

    更新日期:2018-04-16
  • The effect of peer-led team learning on undergraduate engineering students’ conceptual understanding, state anxiety, and social anxiety
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-03-29
    E. N. Eren-Sisman, C. Cigdemoglu, O. Geban

    This study aims to compare the effectiveness of a Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) model with that of traditional college instruction (TCI) in enhancing the conceptual understanding and reducing both the state anxiety and social anxiety of undergraduate engineering students in a general chemistry course in a quasi-experimental design. 128 engineering students taking the course participated in the study. One of the course sections was randomly assigned to the experimental group and the other section was assigned to the control group. Both sections were taught by the same instructor. The control group was instructed using traditional college instruction, while the experimental group was instructed using the PLTL model. Throughout this study, six peer-led chemistry workshops and leader training sessions were performed simultaneously. The General Chemistry Concept Test, the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adults were administered before and after the treatment to both groups. One-way Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) indicated that after controlling students’ university entrance scores, trait anxiety scores and pre-test scores of both the General Chemistry Concept Test and state anxiety, the PLTL model was more effective in improving the conceptual understanding and reducing the situational anxiety of engineering students in undergraduate general chemistry. However, it was not so effective in lessening their social anxiety when compared to traditional college instruction.

    更新日期:2018-04-16
  • Improving General Chemistry Performance through a Growth Mindset Intervention: Selective Effects on Underrepresented Minorities
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-04-13
    Angela Fink, Michael J Cahill, Mark A McDaniel, Arielle Hoffman, Regina F Frey

    Women and minorities remain underrepresented in chemistry bachelor’s degree attainment in the United States, despite efforts to improve their early chemistry achievement through supplemental academic programs and active-learning approaches. We propose an additional strategy for addressing these disparities: course-based, social-psychological interventions. For example, growth-mindset interventions are designed to support students during challenging academic transitions by encouraging them to view intelligence as a flexible characteristic that can be developed through practice, rather than a fixed ability. Previous research has shown that such interventions can improve the overall performance and persistence of college students, particularly those who belong to underrepresented groups. We report a random-assignment classroom experiment, which implemented a chemistry-specific growth-mindset intervention among first-year college students enrolled in General Chemistry 1. Performance results revealed an achievement gap between underrepresented minority and white students in the control group, but no sex-based gap. Critically, after adjusting for variation in academic preparation, the mindset intervention eliminated this racial achievement gap. Qualitative analysis of students’ written reflections from the intervention shed light on their experiences of the mindset and control treatments, deepening our understanding of mindset effects. We integrate these results with the mindset and chemical education literatures and discuss the implications for educators seeking to support underrepresented students in their own classrooms.

    更新日期:2018-04-14
  • An examination of preservice elementary teachers’ representations about chemistry in an intertextuality- and modeling-based course
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-03-20
    Minjung Ryu, Jocelyn Elizabeth Nardo, Meng Yang Matthew Wu

    The chemistry education aspect of elementary teacher education faces a unique set of challenges. On one hand, preservice and in-service elementary teachers tend to not like chemistry and have negative feelings toward chemistry. On the other hand, learning chemistry requires reasoning about natural phenomena from the submicroscopic perspective that deals with the properties and behaviors of unobservable particles. The present study addresses these challenges in chemistry education for preservice elementary teachers (PSETs) by designing a chemistry curriculum that improves the relevance of chemistry learning to students via intertextuality and modeling practices. An analysis of chemistry representations that PSETs generated before and after taking the designed chemistry course demonstrates that they initially perceived chemistry as vivid chemical changes occurring in lab spaces or a discipline related to atoms while failing to provide connections between the chemical reactions and atoms. After taking the course, many students came to see doing chemistry as epistemic practices that construct submicroscopic explanations for observable phenomena and its relevance to everyday lives such as food, car emissions, and their local surroundings. They also came to recognize various epistemic roles that people play in doing chemistry. We provide important implications for engaging PSETs in chemical reasoning and designing chemistry curricula that are more approachable and build on learners’ knowledge resources.

    更新日期:2018-04-12
  • Can cognitive structure outcomes reveal cognitive styles? A study on the relationship between cognitive styles and cognitive structure outcomes on the subject of chemical kinetics
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-04-06
    Elif Atabek-Yigit

    Determination of the relationship between individuals’ cognitive styles and cognitive structure outcomes was the main aim of this study. Sixty-six participants were enrolled in the study and their cognitive styles were determined by using Hidden Figure Test (for their field dependent/independent dimension of cognitive style) and Convergent/Divergent test (for their convergence/divergence dimension of cognitive style). An open-ended questionnaire was formed in order to determine participants’ cognitive structure outcomes. Study topic was chosen as chemical kinetics since it is one of the most difficult topics in chemistry according to many students and also there is limited study in the literature on this topic. Key concepts about chemical kinetics were selected and given to the participants and they were asked to write a text by using the given concepts. A flow map technique was used to reveal participants’ cognitive structure outcomes. According to findings of this study, it can be said that field independent participants tended to be divergent thinkers while field dependents tended to be convergent thinkers. Also, strong positive relations between participants’ field dependency/independency and some cognitive structure outcomes (extent and richness) were found. That is, field independents tended to have more extended and richer cognitive structure outcomes. However, convergence/divergence dimension of cognitive style didn’t show any correlation with cognitive structure outcomes.

    更新日期:2018-04-07
  • Using knowledge space theory to compare expected and real knowledge spaces in learning stoichiometry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-03-28
    M. T. Segedinac, S. Horvat, D. D. Rodić, T. N. Rončević, G. Savić

    This paper proposes a novel application of knowledge space theory for identifying discrepancies between the knowledge structure that experts expect students to have and the real knowledge structure that students demonstrate on tests. The proposed approach combines two methods of constructing knowledge spaces. The expected knowledge space is constructed by analysing the problem-solving process, while the real knowledge space is identified by applying a data-analytic method. These two knowledge spaces are compared for graph difference and the discrepancies between the two are analysed. In this paper, the proposed approach is applied to the domain of stoichiometry. Although there was a decent agreement between expected and real knowledge spaces, a number of relations that were not present in the expected one appeared in the real knowledge space. The obtained results led to a general conclusion for teaching stoichiometry and pointed to some potential improvements in the existing methods for evaluating cognitive complexity.

    更新日期:2018-04-07
  • Teaching assistants' topic-specific pedagogical content knowledge in 1H NMR spectroscopy
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-04-03
    M. C. Connor, G. V. Shultz

    Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an essential analytical tool in chemistry, and the technique is routinely included as a topic across the undergraduate chemistry curriculum. As a result of NMR's importance, classroom instruction of this topic has received considerable attention in chemistry education research. However, little is known about instructors’ knowledge for teaching this topic. In order to better understand this knowledge, we investigated topic-specific pedagogical content knowledge in 1H NMR spectroscopy among 20 chemistry teaching assistants at a large Midwestern university in the United States. A questionnaire was developed to provide an inferential measure of content knowledge and topic-specific pedagogical content knowledge in 1H NMR spectroscopy for participants with a range of teaching experience. Data from the questionnaire were analyzed qualitatively and quantized using a rubric. The quantitative data were transformed using the Rasch model and statistically analyzed. Results from these analyses indicate that pedagogical content knowledge increased with teaching experience in 1H NMR spectroscopy, suggesting that knowledge for teaching this topic is developed through practice. Additionally, the development of pedagogical content knowledge was found to depend upon content knowledge required for specific NMR sub-topics and problems. This finding suggests that the ultimate “grain-size,” or domain-specificity, of pedagogical content knowledge may extend to the problem level. Results from this study have implications for how instructors may cultivate knowledge for teaching NMR spectroscopy, as well as for how pedagogical content knowledge may be more effectively incorporated into instructor training programs.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Investigating the viability of a competency-based, qualitative laboratory assessment model in first-year undergraduate chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-03-20
    Reyne Pullen, Stuart C. Thickett, Alex C. Bissember

    In chemistry curricula, both the role of the laboratory program and the method of assessment used are subject to scrutiny and debate. The ability to identify clearly defined competencies for the chemistry laboratory program is crucial, given the numerous other disciplines that rely on foundation-level chemistry knowledge and practical skills. In this report, we describe the design, implementation, results, and feedback obtained on a competency-based assessment model recently introduced into the first-year laboratory program at an Australian university. Previously, this laboratory program was assessed via a quantitative, criterion-referenced assessment model. At the core of this new model was a set of competency criteria relating to skills-acquisition, chemical knowledge and application of principles, safety in the laboratory, as well as professionalism and teamwork. By design, these criteria were aligned with the learning outcomes of the course and the degree itself, as well as local accrediting bodies. Qualitative and quantitative feedback from students (and staff) obtained before and after the implementation of this new model suggested this approach provided an enhanced learning experience enabling a greater focus on the acquisition of fundamental laboratory skills and techniques.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • The characterization of cognitive processes involved in chemical kinetics using a blended processing framework
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-03-13
    Kinsey Bain, Jon-Marc G. Rodriguez, Alena Moon, Marcy H. Towns

    Chemical kinetics is a highly quantitative content area that involves the use of multiple mathematical representations to model processes and is a context that is under-investigated in the literature. This qualitative study explored undergraduate student integration of chemistry and mathematics during problem solving in the context of chemical kinetics. Using semi-structured interviews, participants were asked to make their reasoning and thinking explicit as they described provided equations and as they worked though chemical kinetics problems. Here we describe the results from our study, which included thirty-six general chemistry students, five physical chemistry students, and three chemical engineering students. Analysis and findings are framed in terms of blended processing, a theory from cognitive science that characterizes human knowledge integration. Themes emerged relating to contexts that were commonly discussed when blending occurred. Variation in the depth and directionality of blending was also observed and characterized. Results provide implications for supporting student problem solving and the modeling of chemical processes.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • A framework for understanding student nurses’ experience of chemistry as part of a health science course
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-03-05
    Kerrie Boddey, Kevin de Berg

    Twenty-seven first-year nursing students, divided across six focus groups formed on the basis of their past chemistry experience, were interviewed about their chemistry experience as a component of a Health Science unit. Information related to learning and academic performance was able to be established from student conversations resulting in three themes (and associated categories): Connectivity (curriculum, application, and social interaction); Reductivity (nature of chemistry, exposition, and control of learning); and Reflexivity (confidence, anxiety, and goal orientation). The framework proved useful in portraying relationships between themes for conversations related to tutorial sessions, prior knowledge, and chemistry in nursing. The focus groups were representative of the total cohort of students in terms of gender, age, working hours, academic performance, enjoyment level of chemistry, and the extent of the relevance of chemistry to nursing. Implications for chemistry educators, especially those supporting novices, are considered.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Inquiry and industry inspired laboratories: the impact on students’ perceptions of skill development and engagements
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-03-02
    Stephen R. George-Williams, Jue T. Soo, Angela L. Ziebell, Christopher D. Thompson, Tina L. Overton

    Many examples exist in the chemical education literature of individual experiments, whole courses or even entire year levels that have been completely renewed under the tenets of context-based, inquiry-based or problem-based learning. The benefits of these changes are well documented and include higher student engagement, broader skill development and better perceived preparation for the workforce. However, no examples appear to have been reported in which an entire school's teaching laboratory programme has been significantly redesigned with these concepts in mind. Transforming Laboratory Learning (TLL) is a programme at Monash University that sought to incorporate industry inspired context-based, inquiry-based and problem-based learning into all the laboratory components of the School of Chemistry. One of the ways in which the effect of the programme was evaluated was through the use of an exit survey delivered to students at the completion of seven experiments that existed before the TLL programme as well as seven that were generated directly by the TLL programme. The survey consisted of 27 closed questions alongside three open questions. Overall, students found the new experiments more challenging but recognised that they were more contextualised and that they allowed students to make decisions. The students noted the lack of detailed guidance in the new laboratory manuals but raised the challenge, context and opportunity to undertake experimental design as reasons for enjoying the new experiments. Students' perceptions of their skill development shifted to reflect skills associated with experimental design when undertaking the more investigation driven experiments. These results are consistent with other literature and indicate the large scale potential success of the TLL programme, which is potentially developing graduates who are better prepared for the modern workforce.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Developing communication confidence and professional identity in chemistry through international online collaborative learning
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-03-01
    Darlene Skagen, Brett McCollum, Layne Morsch, Brandon Shokoples

    The use of online collaborative assignments (OCAs) between two flipped organic chemistry classrooms, one in Canada and the other in the United States, was examined for impact on learners. The intervention was designed to support content mastery, aid in increasing students’ communication skills through chemistry drawing and verbalization, facilitate emergence of professional identity, and promote development of appreciation for chemistry as an international language. A mixed-methods approach consisting of interviews, student written reflections, and questionnaires was used to evaluate the impact of the OCAs. Students described their experience of the OCAs in terms of: chemistry communication confidence; engaged learning; chemistry learning; relationships; and professional identity.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Improving the interest of high-school students toward chemistry by crime scene investigation
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-02-23
    A. Basso, C. Chiorri, F. Bracco, M. M. Carnasciali, M. Alloisio, M. Grotti

    Improving the interest of high-school students towards chemistry (and science in general) is one of the goals of the Italian Ministry of Education. To this aim, we designed a context-based activity that actively involved students in six different laboratory experiences interconnected by a case study of the murder of Miss Scarlet, from the famous game Clue. Key points of the activity were: the interest aroused by the subject of crime scene investigation; the direct involvement of the students in all stages of the work (from the realization of the experiments to the resolution of the case); the use of a multidisciplinary approach for addressing a complex scientific problem; the work in chemical laboratories with modern instrumentation; the team work and the supervision by young tutors. To verify the hypothesis that such a multidisciplinary activity could foster the interest for the discipline, an evaluation was performed using a self-report questionnaire designed to assess changes in the situational interest raised by the internship. It was found that the activity significantly increased interest and attitude toward chemistry, mainly for students with lower scores in pleasure for the study of chemistry, self-efficacy and self-concept in chemistry.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Analysing the impact of a discussion-oriented curriculum on first-year general chemistry students' conceptions of relative acidity
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-02-19
    Lisa Shah, Christian A. Rodriguez, Monica Bartoli, Gregory T. Rushton

    Instructional strategies that support meaningful student learning of complex chemical topics are an important aspect of improving chemistry education. Adequately assessing the success of these approaches can be supported with the use of aligned instruments with established psychometrics. Here, we report the implementation and assessment of one such curriculum, Chemical Thinking, on first-year general chemistry students' conceptions of relative acidity using the recently-developed concept inventory, ACIDI. Our results reveal that, overall, students performed significantly better on ACIDI following instruction, with scores consistent with those previously reported for students who had completed one semester of organic chemistry. Students performed equally well on a delayed post-test administered ten weeks after final instruction, which suggests that instruction promoted a stable conceptual reprioritisation. Item analysis of ACIDI revealed that students generally made conceptual gains on items where inductive effects were the primary determinants of conjugate base stability and relative acidity. However, students overwhelmingly struggled on items where resonance was the primary determinant. Analysis of student–student arguments in active learning settings provided evidence for how the quality of student arguments impacted their conceptions. Overall, these findings suggest that students were able to avoid several superficial misconceptions cited in the literature about relative acidity, and that this topic, traditionally taught exclusively in organic chemistry, may be introduced earlier in the sequence of curricular topics. Implications for future studies on the role of argumentational aspects of student–student conversations and facilitation strategies in promoting or hindering meaningful learning are discussed.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Fusing a reversed and informal learning scheme and space: student perceptions of active learning in physical chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-02-16
    Julie Donnelly, Florencio E. Hernández

    Physical chemistry students often have negative perceptions and low expectations for success in physical chemistry, attitudes that likely affect their performance in the course. Despite the results of several studies indicating increased positive perception of physical chemistry when active learning strategies are used, a recent survey of faculty in the U.S. revealed the continued prevalence of instructor-centered approaches in physical chemistry. In order to reveal a deeper understanding of student experiences in an active learning physical chemistry course, we present a phenomenological study of students’ perceptions of physical chemistry when the course is completely redesigned using active learning strategies. Using the flipped classroom, an active learning space, cooperative learning, and alternative assessments, we emphasized fundamental concepts and encouraged students to take responsibility for their learning. Based on open-ended surveys and interviews with students, we found that students struggled with the transition, but had some significant positive perceptions of the approach. This is in agreement with previous studies of physical chemistry courses in which cooperative learning was the focus. As part of a larger study of the effectiveness of this course redesign, we show how students perceive the effectiveness of these strategies and how they react to them. In addition, we discuss the implications of these findings for the active learning physical chemistry classroom.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Explaining secondary school students’ attitudes towards chemistry in Chile
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-02-15
    L. H. Montes, R. A. Ferreira, C. Rodríguez

    Research into attitudes towards chemistry in Latin America and indeed towards science in general is very limited. The present study aimed to adapt and validate a shortened version of Bauer's Attitude toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory version 2 (ASCIv2) for use in a Latin American context. It also explored attitudes towards chemistry of Chilean secondary school students, and assessed the effect of school type, year group, gender, and chemistry achievement on both cognitive and affective dimensions. The participants were 523 secondary school students from public, private subsidised, and private schools in Chile. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were first carried out to validate ASCIv2. The results of CFA showed that ASCIv2 retained the two-factor structure and showed optimal model fit, but three items had to be removed from the original instrument. The research also showed that attitudes towards science were neither positive nor negative, a reality similar to that of other countries. The results of multivariate and univariate analyses of variance showed significant effects of year group and chemistry achievement on attitudes towards chemistry. No effects of school type, gender or interactions between factors were found. Follow-up analyses revealed that as students advance through school their attitudes decline, but that the higher their chemistry marks, the more positive their attitudes become. These findings are partially in line with previous data from other countries and are a starting point for more research into attitudes towards chemistry in Latin America.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Characterisation of teacher professional knowledge and skill through content representations from tertiary chemistry educators
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-02-15
    M. Schultz, G. A. Lawrie, C. H. Bailey, B. L. Dargaville

    An established tool for collating secondary teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (Loughran's CoRe) has been adapted for use by tertiary educators. Chemistry lecturers with a range of levels of experience were invited to participate in workshops through which the tool was piloted, refined and applied. We now present this refined tool for the tertiary teaching community to consider adopting. The teaching approaches of over 80 workshop participants were collected using the tool in a broad survey of tertiary chemistry teaching strategies. Participation in the workshops led to a significant gain in personal PCK for some individuals. Analysis of responses received in the workshops revealed that the consensus model of secondary teacher professional knowledge and skill is also applicable to the tertiary level, and that the CoRe is a useful way to gain insight into the knowledge bases and topic-specific professional knowledge of tertiary chemistry teachers. The data were aggregated and coded inductively to distil the types of strategies commonly found to be useful for teaching particular tertiary chemistry topics. This resulted in collation of over 300 teaching strategies for 19 different chemistry topics, representing significant topic-specific professional knowledge of tertiary practitioners. To share and sustain this collection of teaching strategies, a website was built that is searchable by either chemistry topic or by type of teaching strategy, making it immediately useful to practitioners. Usage analytics data for the website confirm that many users have accessed the resource, showing that this is a practical way to transfer information between chemistry educators.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • The effect of teaching the entire academic year of high school chemistry utilizing abstract reasoning
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-02-07
    Michael F. Z. Page, Patrick Escott, Maritza Silva, Gregory A. Barding, Jr.

    This case study demonstrates the ability of high school chemistry students, with varying levels of math preparation, to experience learning-gains on state and district assessments as it relates to chemical reactions, thermodynamics, and kinetics. These advances were predicated on the use of a teaching style rooted in abstract reasoning. The methodology was presented to students and modeled by the instructor over an entire school year to reinforce key proportional relationships featured in the balanced chemical equation and related topics such as acids and bases, reaction rates, equilibrium, and conservation of matter. Despite the small sample size, there was a general increase in student success, indicated by a statistically significant difference between students receiving instruction rooted in concrete reasoning and students receiving instruction rich in abstract reasoning.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Assessing assessment: in pursuit of meaningful learning
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-02-05
    Ilse Rootman-le Grange, Margaret A. L. Blackie

    The challenge of supporting the development of meaningful learning is prevalent in chemistry education research. One of the core activities used in the learning process is assessments. The aim of this paper is to illustrate how the semantics dimension of Legitimation Code Theory can be a helpful tool to critique the quality of assessments and reveal how this quality potentially contributes to meaningful learning. For this purpose we analysed an exam paper from an introductory chemistry module, using the semantics dimension as a framework. We discuss the tools that were designed for this analysis and how it was applied to reveal the weakness in this particular assessment. Suggestions for how this assessment can be improved is also discussed. This study illustrates how the semantics dimension can inform assessment practice and potentially contribute to the development of meaningful learning.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Grade perceptions of students in chemistry coursework at all levels
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-02-02
    Jeffrey A. Webb, Andrew G. Karatjas

    Various reasons are attributed to poor student performance in physical science courses such as lack of motivation, lack of ability, and/or the overall difficulty of these courses. One overlooked reason is a lack of self-awareness as to preparation level. Through a study over a two-year period, students at all levels (freshman through M.S.) of a chemistry program were surveyed and asked to self-report predictions of their score on examinations. At all levels, strong evidence of the Kruger–Dunning effect was seen where higher performing students tended to underpredict their examination scores while the lowest performing students tended to grossly overpredict their scores.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Career-related instruction promoting students’ career awareness and interest towards science learning
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-01-20
    Anssi Salonen, Sirpa Kärkkäinen, Tuula Keinonen

    The aim of this study was to investigate how career-related instruction implemented in secondary school chemistry education concerning water issues influences students’ career awareness and their interest towards science learning. This case study is part of a larger design-based research study for the EU-MultiCO project, which focuses on promoting students’ scientific career awareness and attractiveness by introducing them to career-based scenarios at the beginning of the instruction unit. The participants in this study were three eighth-grade classes with 46 students in total, and 2 science teachers. Data consisted of observations throughout the intervention and a questionnaire which the students took afterwards. Descriptive statistics taken from the questionnaire were used together with the content analysis of open questions and observation notes. The results reveal that the students acquired knowledge about science, science-related careers and working life skills and that they enjoyed studying chemistry and engaged in learning during the intervention. The students recognized the need for professionals and their responsibilities as well as the importance of water-related issues as global and local problems, but these issues were not personally important or valuable to students. The type of career-related instruction discussed in this paper can give guidelines for how to develop teaching to promote students’ science career awareness, trigger students’ interest and engage them in science learning.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • ‘What do you think the aims of doing a practical chemistry course are?’ A comparison of the views of students and teaching staff across three universities
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-01-19
    Stephen R. George-Williams, Angela L. Ziebell, Russell R. A. Kitson, Paolo Coppo, Christopher D. Thompson, Tina L. Overton

    The aims of teaching laboratories is an important and ever-evolving topic of discussion amongst teaching staff at teaching institutions. It is often assumed that both teaching staff and students are implicitly aware of these aims, although this is rarely tested or measured. This assumption can lead to mismatched beliefs between students and teaching staff and, if not corrected for, could lead to negative learning gains for students and become a source of frustration for teaching staff. In order to measure and identify this gap in a manner that could be readily generalised to other institutions, a single open question – ‘What do you think the aims of doing a practical chemistry course are?’ – was distributed to students and teaching staff at two Australian universities and one UK university. Qualitative analysis of the responses revealed that students and teaching staff held relatively narrow views of teaching laboratories, particularly focusing on aims more in line with expository experiences (e.g. development of practical skills or enhances understanding of theory). Whilst some differences were noted between students at the three institutions, the large amount of similarities in their responses indicated a fairly common perception of laboratory aims. Of the three groups, academics actually held the narrowest view of teaching laboratories, typically neglecting the preparation of students for the workforce or the simple increase in laboratory experience the students could gain. This study highlights gaps between the perceptions of students and teaching staff with regards to laboratory aims alongside revealing that all three groups held relatively simplified views of teaching laboratories.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • An experienced chemistry teacher's practical knowledge of teaching with practical work: the PCK perspective
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-01-17
    Bing Wei, Hao Liu

    We have examined an experienced chemistry teacher's pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of teaching with practical work in China. Based on the well-known PCK model by Magnusson S. J., Krajcik J. and Borko H., (1999), Nature, sources, and development of pedagogical content knowledge for science teaching, in Gess-Newsome J. and Lederman N. G. (ed.), Examining pedagogical content knowledge: the construct and its implications for science education, Boston: Kluwer, pp. 95–132, we focused on how the participant's teaching orientations and relevant contextual factors shaped his practical knowledge of teaching with practical work. Data from multiple sources were collected and analysed over one semester (four months), including interviews, direct classroom observation, textbooks and lesson plans. Three conclusions were drawn from this study: (1) the participant held multidimensional and mixed science teaching orientations, (2) the participant's science teaching orientations shaped his knowledge and beliefs about students’ learning and the instructional strategies related to practical work, and (3) contextual factors exerted great influence on his PCK.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • A novel qualitative method to improve access, elicitation, and sample diversification for enhanced transferability applied to studying chemistry outreach
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-01-17
    Justin M. Pratt, Ellen J. Yezierski

    Conducting qualitative research in any discipline warrants two actions: accessing participants and eliciting their ideas. In chemistry education research, survey techniques have been used to increase access to participants and diversify samples. Interview tasks (such as card sorting, using demonstrations, and using simulations) have been used to elicit participant ideas. While surveys can increase participation and remove geographic barriers from studies, they typically lack the ability to obtain detailed, thick description of participant ideas, which are possible from in-person interviews. Minimal research in CER has examined how to harness technology to synthesize traditionally diverse research approaches to advance the field. This paper presents a novel method for interviewing research participants employing freely available technology to investigate student ideas about the purposes of conducting chemistry outreach, how success of an outreach event is evaluated, and student understanding of the chemistry content embedded in activities facilitated at events. As the outreach practitioner population comes from numerous institutions and is therefore geographically diverse, technology is necessary in order to gain access to these students. To elicit their ideas and remove barriers associated with rapport, interview tasks are adapted and implemented electronically. The description of a novel set of methods is coupled with evidence from the interviews to illustrate the trustworthiness of the data obtained and to support the method as a means to improve qualitative data collection in chemistry education research. These methods create a unique data collection environment for off-site investigations and are applicable to all disciplines, as they shed light on how qualitative research in the 21st century can increase the diversity of samples and improve the transferability of findings.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Student perceptions of immediate feedback testing in student centered chemistry classes
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-01-08
    Jamie L. Schneider, Suzanne M. Ruder, Christopher F. Bauer

    Feedback is an important aspect of the learning process. The immediate feedback assessment technique (IF-AT®) form allows students to receive feedback on their answers during a testing event. Studies with introductory psychology students supported both perceived and real student learning gains when this form was used with testing. Knowing that negative student perceptions of innovative classroom techniques can create roadblocks, this research focused on gathering student responses to using IF-AT® forms for testing in general chemistry 1 and organic chemistry 2 classes at several institutions. Students’ perceptions on using the IF-AT® forms and how it influenced their thinking were gathered from a 16-item survey. The results of the student surveys are detailed and implementation strategies for using IF-AT® forms for chemistry testing are also outlined in this article.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Low-achieving students’ attitudes towards learning chemistry and chemistry teaching methods
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-01-06
    P. Kousa, R. Kavonius, M. Aksela

    The aims of this study were to determine low-achieving students’ attitudes towards chemistry and how the attitudes differ within a low achieving group. The most preferred teaching methods were also defined. Empirical data (n = 2949) were collected by stratified sampling from fifteen-year-old Finnish lower-secondary school students as part of a Finnish National Board of Education assessment. The students were divided into five groups according to their achievement in the chemistry-exam. 159 of the students who had deficient exam results were defined as low-achieving (LA) students, and within that group non-native speakers, students with special needs and gender were selected as the background variables. Boys, non-native speakers and those who had special support had more positive attitudes towards chemistry within the LA group. The most preferred teaching methods in the low-achieving group were (i) visiting companies, institutes, museums and exhibitions; (ii) using the internet, videos, magazines and books for studying and (iii) small group working. According to the LA students their teachers should take more into account their wishes for teaching methods. This study suggests that more positive attitudes could lead to a better achievement when the teaching methods are preferred by most of the students. This paper proposes some ideas for both teachers and teacher training.

    更新日期:2018-04-03
  • Evaluating students' abilities to construct mathematical models from data using latent class analysis
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2018-01-03
    Alexandra Brandriet, Charlie A. Rupp, Katherine Lazenby, Nicole M. Becker

    Analyzing and interpreting data is an important science practice that contributes toward the construction of models from data; yet, there is evidence that students may struggle with making meaning of data. The study reported here focused on characterizing students’ approaches to analyzing rate and concentration data in the context of method of initial rates tasks, a type of task used to construct a rate law, which is a mathematical model that relates the reactant concentration to the rate. Here, we present a large-scale analysis (n = 768) of second-semester introductory chemistry students’ responses to three open-ended questions about how to construct rate laws from initial concentration and rate data. Students’ responses were coded based on the level of sophistication in their responses, and latent class analysis was then used to identify groups (i.e. classes) of students with similar response patterns across tasks. Here, we present evidence for a five-class model that included qualitatively distinct and increasingly sophisticated approaches to reasoning about the data. We compared the results from our latent class model to the correctness of students’ answers (i.e. reaction orders) and to a less familiar task, in which students were unable to use the control of variables strategy. The results showed that many students struggled to engage meaningfully with the data when constructing their rate laws. The students’ strategies may provide insight into how to scaffold students’ abilities to analyze data.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • A comparison of online and traditional chemistry lecture and lab
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-12-18
    E. K. Faulconer, J. C. Griffith, B. L. Wood, S. Acharyya, D. L. Roberts

    While the equivalence between online and traditional classrooms has been well researched, very little effort has been expended to do such comparisons for college level introductory chemistry. The existing literature has only one study that investigated chemistry lectures at an entire course level as opposed to particular course components such as individual topics or exams. Regarding lab courses, only one study is available and it involves moderating variables that are largely uncontrolled. In this work, we compared the student pass rates, withdrawal rates, and grade distributions between asynchronous online and traditional formats of an introductory chemistry lecture as well as its associated lab course. The study was based on the 823 university records available for the 2015–2016 academic year. Student pass and withdrawal rates between the two modes were quite similar and did not appear to be statistically significant. However, grade distributions for both the lecture and lab differed between the two learning modes, showing significant statistical associations. Online students were more likely to earn As in both lecture and lab while traditional in-person students were more likely to earn Cs or Ds. Further research should include replication of this study with a larger data set. Additionally, this study should be repeated in three to five years to determine if advances in course design, standardization and delivery platforms further reduce or eliminate differences between learning modes. Future studies should also use qualitative tools for a better understanding of why students fail or withdraw from courses.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • A new multimedia application for teaching and learning chemical equilibrium
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-12-08
    Mario Ollino, Jenny Aldoney, Ana M. Domínguez, Cristian Merino

    This study presents a method for teaching the subject of chemical equilibrium in which students engage in self-learning mediated by the use of a new multimedia animation (SEQ-alfa©). This method is presented together with evidence supporting its advantages. At a microscopic level, the simulator shows the mutual transformation of A molecules into B molecules and vice versa for the reversible one-step chemical reaction, A(g) ⇔ B(g). The user defines the reaction as endothermic or exothermic and sets a given reaction temperature; SEQ-alfa© then calculates the kinetic constants of the forward and reverse reactions. Based on initial given concentrations, the animation then evaluates the respective rates and concentrations, as well as the concentration quotient value, as the reaction progresses towards its equilibrium state. SEQ-alfa© also demonstrates the effects of concentration and temperature alterations on the reaction's progress and the value of the reaction quotient until equilibrium is reached, thus giving the equilibrium constant. In addition, a validation of this new approach was carried out with 27 teachers. A pre-test and post-test of students’ understanding of the basic concepts of chemical equilibrium were conducted. Tested groups attained a 50% average learning gain (nexp = 130, nctrl = 26). Those students with little or no previous knowledge acquired a better understanding of chemical equilibrium. In addition, 80% of teachers agreed that the multimedia resource and its complementary activities had positive effects.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • The role of teacher questions in the chemistry classroom
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-12-04
    Sofie Weiss Dohrn, Niels Bonderup Dohn

    The purpose of this study was to investigate how a chemistry teacher's questions influence the classroom discourse. It presents a fine-grained analysis of the rich variety of one teacher's questions and the roles they play in an upper secondary chemistry classroom. The study identifies six different functions for the teacher's questions: Student Knowledge, Request, Monologic Discourse, Clarification, Relations and Interaction of Contexts. Overall, these questions create a safe and interactive learning environment. However, the questions are predominantly closed in form. As a result, the students become highly accomplished in recalling facts but have difficulties when higher order thinking is required. The findings suggest that an interactive classroom can be created by using many engaging teacher questions. The six different categories of questions promote the students’ learning process as it gives them authority and entitles them to speak and learn.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • The effect of math SAT on women's chemistry competency beliefs
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-27
    Paulette Vincent-Ruz, Kevin Binning, Christian D. Schunn, Joe Grabowski

    In chemistry, lack of academic preparation and math ability have been offered as explanations as to why women seem to enroll, perform, and graduate at lower levels than men. In this paper, we explore the alternative possibility that the gender gap in chemistry instead originates from differential gender effects of academic factors on students’ motivation. Using a sample of approximately 670 students enrolled in a mid-sized university in the United States we conducted: (1) t-tests to understand incoming academic differences between freshman students by gender, (2) regression analysis to determine which academic and attitudinal factors predict success in General Chemistry 1, and (3) a mediation analysis to understand the underlying mechanisms of how academic performance affects students’ beliefs about their competency in chemistry, which in turn has an effect on chemistry achievement. We demonstrate the importance of math ability as a contributor to chemistry achievement, but further that ability differences in math are important because they affect students’ chemistry competency beliefs. Critically, this link between ability and competency beliefs is stronger for women than men. These results suggest that interventions geared towards improving women's chemistry competency beliefs could have an important influence in improving their achievement in the classroom, and in consequence reduce the gender gap in chemistry.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Relating motivation and student outcomes in general organic chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-25
    Ara C. Austin, Nicholas B. Hammond, Nathan Barrows, Deena L. Gould, Ian R. Gould

    A central tenet of self-regulated learning theories is that students are motivated towards learning in order to self-regulate. It is thus important to identify student motivations in order to inform efforts to improve instructional strategies that encourage self-regulation. Here we describe a study aimed at characterizing the important motivation factors for students taking general organic chemistry, and how they connect to, and correlate with student performance. A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 2648 undergraduate student participants at two institutions over five semesters and four instructors. Motivation was measured using the Organic Chemistry Motivation Survey (OCMS), a modified form of Glynn et al. (2011)'s Science Motivation Questionnaire II (SMQ-II). The results suggest that the students were highly motivated towards earning a high grade, but that this grade motivation correlated only weakly with performance. Other intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors were found to be low, suggesting that the students perceived organic chemistry to have little relevance to their interests and careers. However, student performance was strongly correlated with self-efficacy, and, to a lesser extent, self-determination. This finding implies that high-performing students tended to be self-regulated learners who are not motivated primarily by the relevance of the course content. Alternate sources of motivation that can drive self-regulation are discussed.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Peer learning as a tool to strengthen math skills in introductory chemistry laboratories
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-20
    Melissa C. Srougi, Heather B. Miller

    Math skills vary greatly among students enrolled in introductory chemistry courses. Students with weak math skills (algebra and below) tend to perform poorly in introductory chemistry courses, which is correlated with increased attrition rates. Previous research has shown that retention of main ideas in a peer learning environment is greater when partners have dissimilar abilities. Therefore, in an effort to improve student learning outcomes, we implemented peer learning interventions in our introductory chemistry laboratories to determine if math skills were enhanced when partners differed in math ability. Student performance and attitudes were analyzed in laboratory sections consisting of instructor-assigned partners who differed in math ability, compared to sections where students self-selected a partner. Students who were assigned math partners of different ability showed an 8% improvement in chemistry math concepts compared to no improvement among those who self-selected a partner, as assessed using pre- and post-math tests. Mathematical learning gains were particularly large (16%) for those students in the 50th percentile of math performance. Students also reported a significantly more positive attitude change about working with others compared to students who self-selected a partner. In addition, assigned students demonstrated a more positive shift in self-concepts such as chemistry knowledge and laboratory skills. This study illustrates that peer learning can serve as a useful and easy-to-implement tool to strengthen math skills and improve student attitudes in introductory chemistry laboratories.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Evaluating student motivation in organic chemistry courses: moving from a lecture-based to a flipped approach with peer-led team learning
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-20
    Yujuan Liu, Jeffrey R. Raker, Jennifer E. Lewis

    Academic Motivation Scale-Chemistry (AMS-Chemistry), an instrument based on the self-determination theory, was used to evaluate students’ motivation in two organic chemistry courses, where one course was primarily lecture-based and the other implemented flipped classroom and peer-led team learning (Flip–PLTL) pedagogies. Descriptive statistics showed that students in both courses were more extrinsically motivated and their motivation moved in negative directions across the semester. Factorial multivariate analysis of covariance revealed a main effect of pedagogical approach. Students in the Flip–PLTL environment were significantly more motivated toward chemistry at the end of the semester while controlling for the motivation pre-test scores; however, there was no evidence for a sex main effect or an interaction effect between sex and pedagogical approach. Correlation results revealed variable relationships between motivation subscales and academic achievement at different time points. In general, intrinsic motivation subscales were significantly and positively correlated with student academic achievement; Amotivation was negatively correlated with academic achievement. The findings in this study showed the importance of Flip–PLTL pedagogies in improving student motivation toward chemistry.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Diagnosing the quality of high school students’ and pre-service chemistry teachers’ cognitive structures in organic chemistry by using students’ generated systemic synthesis questions
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-15
    Tamara Hrin, Dušica Milenković, Mirjana Segedinac

    The importance of well elaborated cognitive structures in a science knowledge domain has been noted in many studies. Therefore, the main aim of this particular study was to employ a new diagrammatic assessment approach, students’ generated systemic synthesis questions (SSynQs), to evaluate and compare the quality of high school students’ and pre-service chemistry teachers’ cognitive structures in the organic chemistry domain. We used a mixed research sample (N = 83), and SSynQs were constructed following the high school chemical curriculum in the Republic of Serbia. Besides the overall quality of the cognitive structures, the size (extent) and strength (complexity) of the conceptual structures, as external representations of cognitive structures, were also analysed. It was found that both high school students and pre-service chemistry teachers had a substantial size of the conceptual structures, showing relatively good knowledge about IUPAC naming and structures of organic compounds, except for ethers. However, the strength of the conceptual structures, or inter-correlations between organic chemistry concepts, was evaluated as weak within high school students, and medium within pre-service chemistry teachers. This resulted in the identification of three main learning difficulties (LDs), accompanied by a lack of understanding (LU) about the chemical properties and relations of organic compounds. It was surprising to find that all identified LDs and LUs within high school students also appeared within pre-service chemistry teachers. What is more, the most desired and expected cognitive structures (distinguished multidimensional cognitive structures) without LDs and LUs appeared within high school students.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Using a multi-tier diagnostic test to explore the nature of students’ alternative conceptions on reaction kinetics
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-15
    Yaw Kai Yan, R. Subramaniam

    This study focused on grade 12 students’ understanding of reaction kinetics. A 4-tier diagnostic instrument was developed for this purpose and administered to 137 students in the main study. Findings showed that reaction kinetics is a difficult topic for these students, with a total of 25 alternative conceptions (ACs) being uncovered. Except for one AC, the other ACs uncovered have not been reported before in the literature. An interesting point emerging from this study is that nearly 70% of the ACs were obtained from questions that featured graphs. Overall, the 4-tier format for the diagnostic instrument demonstrates good utility for probing students’ understanding of reaction kinetics as well as uncovering their ACs. The confidence-related measures, which are more commonly used in the educational psychology literature, have also permitted further insights to be gained into how the students performed in the test as well as the classification of the ACs.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Using self-efficacy beliefs to understand how students in a general chemistry course approach the exam process
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    Angela Willson-Conrad, Megan Grunert Kowalske

    Retention of students who major in STEM continues to be a major concern for universities. Many students cite poor teaching and disappointing grades as reasons for dropping out of STEM courses. Current college chemistry courses often assess what a student has learned through summative exams. To understand students' experiences of the exam process, including how students prepare for an exam, take an exam, and respond to feedback from an exam, data was collected through interviews with students in an introductory college chemistry course. The interview data was analyzed using emergent coding to describe students' experiences of the exam process using phenomenography. Data indicated that students' experiences with the exam process could be categorized based on their reported exam performance. Overall, differences could be seen between these students' self-efficacy beliefs and metacognitive skills based on the grade each student reported receiving on the exam. The students who performed highest on the exam had self-efficacy beliefs primarily from their mastery experience, and middle performing students' self-efficacy beliefs came from vicarious experience. The lowest performing student had low self-efficacy beliefs. Students who received the highest grades on the exam viewed learning as making meaningful connections between topics, and students who received lower grades viewed learning as memorization. By further understanding students study habits, their views on the exam process, and the development of their self-efficacy beliefs, instructors may be better able to assist low and middle performing students in our general chemistry courses. The findings from this study suggest several ways instructors could facilitate more effective studying and promote higher self-efficacy beliefs, including promoting group work, talking with students about study skills, and encouraging attendance at office hours to review exam responses.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • The relationship between subject matter knowledge and teaching effectiveness of undergraduate chemistry peer facilitators
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    J. R. Boothe, R. A. Barnard, L. J. Peterson, B. P. Coppola

    Use of peer instruction and facilitation has surged in undergraduate education at large colleges and universities in recent years. Studies on peer instruction have been directed primarily at student learning gains and affective outcomes among the facilitators. For peer instructors, the relationship between their teaching effectiveness and their foundational content knowledge is assumed but understudied. In an effort to promote instructional coherence (i.e., instructional same-pageness) in the introductory organic chemistry program at the University of Michigan, we observed peer-led study group facilitators’ involvement in their study groups (as teachers of groups of 6–12 students) and in a companion course (as learners) designed to reinforce and enhance their content knowledge. Audiovisual recordings of the facilitators in both the companion course and, for ten of them, leading their study groups, were captured over each of the two week periods covering the topics of stereochemistry and also conformational analysis. Recordings were subsequently coded for topic and correctness in presentation of subject matter. Errors made in either study group or the companion course were investigated for error resolution (corrected or uncorrected), source of error, and propagation of corrected errors. Analysis of recordings revealed that facilitators who have their own errors corrected in the companion course, or observe their peers’ errors corrected in the companion course, correctly describe these concepts in study groups. On examining errors made by facilitators when they are leading study group sessions, a backwards analysis showed consistently that either the topics had not been addressed in the antecedent companion course, or the facilitator was not actively engaged with the discussion when the topics were being discussed. These findings have implications to inform not only our own implementation of peer-led study groups, but also those interested in designing subject matter companion courses for peer leaders in other instructional settings.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • #IHeartChemistryNCSU: free choice, content, and elements of science communication as the framework for an introductory organic chemistry project
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-02
    Bram H. Frohock, Samantha T. Winterrowd, Maria T. Gallardo-Williams

    Students in a large introductory organic chemistry class were given the freedom to choose an organic compound of interest and were challenged to develop an educational object (physical or digital) designed to be shared with the broader public via social media. Analysis of the project results shows that most students appreciated the open nature of the assignment, and engaged in self-regulated learning by reflecting and improving on their educational object design along each step of the project. Subjects varied widely depending on the students’ personal interests, and many different educational objects were produced and shared using diverse social media outlets. As a result of this project, students reported positive outcomes including increased interest in organic chemistry and science in general as well as the acquisition of practical skills such as science communication and visual representation of science. These skills were perceived by students as being beneficial for future professional endeavors. This report describes the design and outcomes of the project, including the choice of subjects, representations, and social media channels.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Exploring different types of assessment items to measure linguistically diverse students’ understanding of energy and matter in chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-01
    Kihyun Ryoo, Emily Toutkoushian, Kristin Bedell

    Energy and matter are fundamental, yet challenging concepts in middle school chemistry due to their abstract, unobservable nature. Although it is important for science teachers to elicit a range of students’ ideas to design and revise their instruction, capturing such varied ideas using traditional assessments consisting of multiple-choice items can be difficult. In particular, the linguistic complexity of these items may hinder English learners (ELs) who speak English as a second language from understanding and representing their ideas. This study explores how multi-modal assessments using different types of open-ended items can document ELs’ and English-dominant students’ (EDSs) understanding of energy and matter in chemistry. 38 eighth-grade, linguistically diverse students taught by one teacher at a low-income middle school completed an assessment designed to elicit their ideas about properties of matter and chemical reactions through arguing from evidence, writing explanations, and developing models of chemical phenomena. The results show that the three types of assessment items captured different correct and alternative ideas that ELs and EDSs held. In particular, modeling appears promising as a tool to assess what ELs know about properties of matter and chemical reactions in middle school chemistry, compared to other written items. The findings of this study provide insights into how different types of assessment items can be used to better understand the range of ideas held by linguistically diverse students.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Students' visualisation of chemical reactions – insights into the particle model and the atomic model
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-31
    Maurice M. W. Cheng

    This paper reports on an interview study of 18 Grade 10–12 students’ model-based reasoning of a chemical reaction: the reaction of magnesium and oxygen at the submicro level. It has been proposed that chemical reactions can be conceptualised using two models: (i) the particle model, in which a reaction is regarded as the simple combination and rearrangement of reactant particles and does not involve any change in the identity of the reactants, and (ii) the atomic model, wherein a reaction involves the transformation of one chemical species into another. This paper suggests that although the particle model looks simpler than the atomic model, it can help to support the learning of some advanced chemical concepts such as energetics and collision theory. Therefore, it is postulated that students who reason using the particle model are able to demonstrate some advanced ideas about chemical reactions. The conceptualisation of reactions in terms of the atomic model and the particle model allows a flexible understanding of students’ learning. Students’ representations of the reaction between magnesium and oxygen were analysed with reference to the two models. The models were found to be useful in assessing the students’ understanding of the reaction and revealing the novel ways that the students reasoned the chemical reaction. In addition, a student who used the particle model to represent the reaction was found to explain the reaction in terms of some energetics and kinetics concepts. The study offers insights for curriculum planners and teachers into the potential of these two models to help students understand chemical reactions.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Evaluation of the influence of wording changes and course type on motivation instrument functioning in chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-25
    Regis Komperda, Kathryn N. Hosbein, Jack Barbera

    Increased understanding of the importance of the affective domain in chemistry education research has led to the development and adaptation of instruments to measure chemistry-specific affective traits, including motivation. Many of these instruments are adapted from other fields by using the word ‘chemistry’ in place of other disciplines or more general ‘science’ wording. Psychometric evidence is then provided for the functioning of the new adapted instrument. When an instrument is adapted from general language to specific (e.g. replacing ‘science’ with ‘chemistry’), an opportunity exists to compare the functioning of the original instrument in the same context as the adapted instrument. This information is important for understanding which types of modifications may have small or large impacts on instrument functioning and in which contexts these modifications may have more or less influence. In this study, data were collected from the online administration of scales from two science motivation instruments in chemistry courses for science majors and for non-science majors. Participants in each course were randomly assigned to view either the science version or chemistry version of the items. Response patterns indicated that students respond differently to different wordings of the items, with generally more favorable response to the science wording of items. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to investigate the internal structure of each instrument, however acceptable data-model fit was not obtained under any administration conditions. Additionally, no discernable pattern could be detected regarding the conditions showing better data-model fit. These results suggest that even seemingly small changes to item wording and administration context can affect instrument functioning, especially if the change in wording affects the construct measured by the instrument. This research further supports the need to provide psychometric evidence of instrument functioning each time an instrument is used and before any comparisons are made of responses to different versions of the instrument.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Goal orientations of general chemistry students via the achievement goal framework
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-25
    Scott E. Lewis

    The Achievement Goal Framework describes students’ goal orientations as: task-based, focusing on the successful completion of the task; self-based, evaluating performance relative to one's own past performance; or other-based, evaluating performance relative to the performance of others. Goal orientations have been used to explain student success in a range of educational settings, but have not been used in post-secondary chemistry. This study describes the goal orientations of General Chemistry students and explores the relationship of goal orientations to success in the course. On average, students report higher task and self orientations than other orientation. Task orientation had a positive relationship with exam performance and self orientation had a negative relationship with exam performance. Clustering students showed that for the majority of students task and self orientations moved concurrently and students with low preference across the three orientations also performed lowest on exams. Finally, students in classes using Flipped-Peer Led Team Learning, a pedagogy designed to bring active learning to a large lecture class, showed higher task orientation than those in classes with lecture-based instruction.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Development of pre-service chemistry teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-23
    Ayla Cetin-Dindar, Yezdan Boz, Demet Yildiran Sonmez, Nilgun Demirci Celep

    In this study, a mixed-method design was employed to investigate pre-service chemistry teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) development. For effective technology integration in instruction, knowledge about technology is not enough; teachers should have different knowledge types which are content, pedagogical, and technological. The 17 pre-service chemistry teachers who enrolled in the Instructional Technology and Material Development course participated in the study for one semester. The purpose of this course was to learn how to integrate simulations, animations, instructional games, data-logging, virtual labs and virtual field trips into chemistry instruction considering factors such as chemistry subjects and students’ possible alternative conceptions or their previous chemistry knowledge. A survey and interviews were used to gather data on the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK framework both before and after the semester. A mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance was conducted to examine the differences in the pre-service teachers’ TPACK at two time periods considering also the gender factor. For the qualitative data, deductive analysis based on existing codes and categories was applied. The quantitative and qualitative findings of this study revealed that the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK improved partially on some components. In addition, based on these findings, gender was not found to be a significant variable in technology integration. For further development in the TPACK framework, more context related technology applications in a learning and teaching environment are needed.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Secondary school chemistry teacher's current use of laboratory activities and the impact of expense on their laboratory choices
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-18
    Sarah B. Boesdorfer, Robin A. Livermore

    In the United States with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)'s emphasis on learning science while doing science, laboratory activities in the secondary school chemistry continues to be an important component of a strong curriculum. Laboratory equipment and consumable materials create a unique expense which chemistry teachers and schools must deal with if laboratory activities are part of the chemistry curriculum. While other barriers impacting teachers' use of laboratory activities have been researched, the impact of expense on teachers' choices is not as clear. This study sought to understand secondary school chemistry teachers' current laboratory practices and the impact expense has on their use of laboratory activities in their classroom. Using an online survey and follow-up interviews, the study found that a majority of secondary chemistry teachers surveyed use laboratory activities, though not always including scientific practices advocated by NGSS. The frequency of laboratory activities used by teachers was not statistically impacted by school type, available funds for materials, or processes to obtain funds, but was impacted by teachers' personal ideas. Interviews provided more information about the teachers using laboratory activities regularly and those not. While most teachers are using laboratory activities regularly at the current funding levels, expense, in terms of monetary and time expenses, was shown to impact the specific choice of laboratory activity. Implications for chemistry curriculum reform including the usage of laboratory activities in chemistry courses are discussed along with implications for chemistry teacher professional development.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Interactions of chemistry teachers with gifted students in a regular high-school chemistry classroom
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-16
    Naama Benny, Ron Blonder

    Regular high-school chemistry teachers view gifted students as one of several types of students in a regular (mixed-ability) classroom. Gifted students have a range of unique abilities that characterize their learning process: mostly they differ in three key learning aspects: their faster learning pace, increased depth of understanding, and special interests. If gifted students are to develop their abilities and potential, and learn optimally in a regular classroom, the teaching must be adjusted to meet their special needs. Chemistry high-school curricula have built-in potential to cater to the special needs of gifted students. Chemistry learning entails laboratory work and comprehension of abstract concepts. In the classroom, the interactions between teachers and students are core events that trigger other class events. In the present study the interactions between teachers and gifted students in a regular classroom, which are specific for chemistry teaching, were studied. Two general categories of interactions with gifted students were found to be unique to the chemistry classroom: (1) interactions involving laboratory work and (2) interactions involving the challenge of teaching chemistry content. We found that since gifted students master abstract chemistry concepts quickly and with minimum scaffolding, no interactions regarding this aspect were reported. Gifted students do not need all the instruction time teachers usually devote to explaining abstract concepts in chemistry, concepts that are considered difficult for other students. The present study indicates the essential need of enhancing chemistry teachers’ knowledge regarding teaching gifted students in the chemistry classroom. This includes knowledge about how gifted students learn in general, and its adaptation to the chemistry classroom and the chemistry laboratory according to academic and curricular needs of the gifted students.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • We don’t get any training: the impact of a professional development model on teaching practices of chemistry and biology graduate teaching assistants
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-16
    Jacinta M. Mutambuki, Renee Schwartz

    This study investigated the implementation of best teaching practices by science graduate teaching assistants [GTAs] (3 chemists and 2 biologists) in five inquiry-based, interdisciplinary chemistry-biology experiments during a six-week professional development (PD) program, Engage PD. Additionally, we examined GTAs’ experiences in implementing specific PD aspects. The PD program took place as the GTAs taught sections of biology and chemistry laboratory courses, each comprising five interdisciplinary experiments. The PD aspects included defining expected learning outcomes, subject-matter knowledge, relevance to real-world and chemistry-biology connections, and other active classroom teaching practices. Data were collected through classroom observations, reflection questionnaires, and individual interviews. Findings indicated that 57% of the PD aspects investigated were implemented in the five interdisciplinary experiments. Results also revealed GTAs’ initial areas of struggle in implementing specific PD aspects. Perceived implementation difficulties were attributed to individual perceptions and beliefs, and contextual factors. Through practice, continuous feedback, and reflections, most GTAs overcame the hurdles and refined their teaching. Findings imply the need to design training PD programs that offer mentoring and support to GTAs and future faculty in implementing teaching innovations. The teaching context and reflection prompts are helpful in identifying areas of difficulties and how to improve.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • The nature of the interplay among components of pedagogical content knowledge in reaction rate and chemical equilibrium topics of novice and experienced chemistry teachers
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-11
    Fatma Nur Akın, Esen Uzuntiryaki-Kondakci

    We examined the interactions among pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) components of novice and experienced chemistry teachers in teaching reaction rate and chemical equilibrium topics in this qualitative multiple-case design study. For this aim, three chemistry teachers who had different levels of teaching experience in chemistry teaching were selected through a process of purposeful sampling. Multiple types of data were gathered through more than two months. In order to collect and triangulate data, a card-sorting activity, a Content Representation (CoRe) tool, semi-structured interviews, observation of instruction, and field notes were utilized. Data were analyzed through three approaches: in-depth analysis of explicit PCK, the enumerative approach, and constant comparative methods. The results revealed eight characteristics of the interactions of the PCK components: (a) the novice teacher's orientations towards science, in contrast to the experienced teachers’, were more broad and non-specific, which impeded the interactions among the components, (b) the interplay of the PCK components was idiosyncratic and topic specific, (c) the novice teacher's PCK maps were fragmented while the experienced teachers’ PCK maps were integrated, (d) the experienced teachers, in contrast to the novice teacher, interacted more than two PCK components in most of their teaching fragments, (e) knowledge of learner, knowledge of curriculum and knowledge of instructional strategies were central in the interplays of all teacher maps, (f) the experienced teachers were more successful than the novice teacher in translating their knowledge into practice in terms of the integration among PCK components, (g) teacher self-efficacy appeared to play a role in their use of PCK components and constructing interactions among them, and (h) all teachers taught the same topics with similar lesson plans and the same instructional materials; however, they differed in terms of how they connect the PCK components. Implications and suggestions for teacher education and science education research are presented.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Blending problem-based learning and peer-led team learning, in an open ended ‘home-grown’ pharmaceutical chemistry case study
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-10
    Clinton G. L. Veale, Rui W. M. Krause, Joyce D. Sewry

    Pharmaceutical chemistry, medicinal chemistry and the drug discovery process require experienced practitioners to employ reasoned speculation in generating creative ideas, which can be used to evolve promising molecules into drugs. The ever-evolving world of pharmaceutical chemistry requires university curricula that prepare graduates for their role as designers with the capability of applying complex concepts in pharmaceutical chemistry, thereby improving the decision-making process. Common methods of teaching drug discovery, including the linear nature of the traditional case study model, do not provide a realistic picture of the underlying complexity of the process, nor do they equip students with the appropriate tools for personal sense making and abstraction. In this work, we discuss the creation of an open-ended, nonlinear case study for 3rd year pharmaceutical chemistry students, developed from drug discovery research conducted at Rhodes University. Furthermore, we discuss blending problem based learning (PBL) with peer-led team learning (PLTL) in the context of curriculum transformation, underpinned by the theory of semantic waves, to assist students in the early attainment of abstract concepts and answer questions of contextualisation, personal sense making, relatability, relevance and ultimately the skills for lifelong learning.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • The relationship between chemistry self-efficacy of South African first year university students and their academic performance
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-05
    Umesh Ramnarain, Sam Ramaila

    This study investigated the self-efficacy of first-year Chemistry students at a South African university. The research involved a quantitative survey of 333 students using the College Chemistry Self-Efficacy Scale (CCSS) developed by Uzuntiryaki and Capa Aydin (2009). Descriptive statistics on data for the CCSS scales suggested that students have positive beliefs in their capability to accomplish chemistry tasks. The students scored more strongly on the self-efficacy constructs of cognitive and psychomotor skills than on everyday application. There was a significant difference between students of different professional orientations for cognitive skills and everyday applications, with students enrolled for Chemical Engineering having the highest mean scores for these constructs. A multiple regression analysis was run in order to explore the relationship between chemistry self-efficacy and performance in a chemistry examination. The analysis indicated that cognitive skills significantly predicted chemistry performance, while psychomotor skills and everyday applications had no significant impact. The implications for research and instruction are discussed in terms of the relationship between chemistry self-efficacy and performance.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • This mechanistic step is “productive”: organic chemistry students' backward-oriented reasoning
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-02
    I. Caspari, M. L. Weinrich, H. Sevian, N. Graulich

    If an organic chemistry student explains that she represents a mechanistic step because “it's a productive part of the mechanism,” what meaning could the professor teaching the class attribute to this statement, what is actually communicated, and what does it mean for the student? The professor might think that the explanation is based on knowledge of equilibria of alternative steps. The professor might also assume that the student implies information about how one of the alternatives influences the energetics of subsequent steps or how subsequent steps influence the equilibria of the alternatives. Meanwhile, the student might literally mean that the step is represented simply because it leads to the product. Reasoning about energetic influences has much greater explanatory power than teleological reasoning taking the consequence of mechanistic steps as the reason for their prediction. In both cases, however, the same backward-oriented reasoning is applied. Information about subsequent parts in the mechanism is used to make a decision about prior parts. To qualitatively compare the reasoning patterns and the causality employed by students and expected by their professor, we used a mechanistic approach from philosophy of science that mirrors the directionality of a mechanism and its components: activities, entities, and their properties. Our analysis led to the identification of different reasoning patterns involving backward-oriented reasoning. Participants' use of properties gave additional insight into the students' reasoning and their professor's expectations, which supports the necessity for clear expectations in mechanistic reasoning in organic chemistry classrooms. We present a framework that offers a lens to clarify these expectations and discuss implications of the framework for improving student mechanistic reasoning in organic chemistry.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Approaching gender equity in academic chemistry: lessons learned from successful female chemists in the UK
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-09-25
    Jaimie Miller-Friedmann, Ann Childs, Judith Hillier

    The internationally acknowledged gender gap in science continues to be an unrelenting concern to science educators; aggregate data in the UK show that both recruitment and retention of women in academic science remain relatively low. Most published research focuses on women in the broad field of science, generates correlations or predictions, or examines the reasons why women do not participate in fields like physics or engineering. Previous work has not yet addressed how women have found ways to succeed in particular fields, such as chemistry, or how successful pathways may be applied to recruitment and retention efforts in those fields. This study investigated the experiences of successful British female chemists, in order to uncover coping mechanisms and commonalities that may illuminate obstacles and solutions particular to women in chemistry. Four case study semi-structured life history interviews with highly successful British female chemists revealed common experiences that helped the women in the study to succeed. Of these, two resonated with the literature: having an integrated support network, and the ability to cope with financial and career instability; choice of subfield and adaptation of (unconscious) bias are offered as new insights. The findings suggest changes in policy and practice that would provide particular kinds of support for women in chemistry at school and university level. Implementing these changes may be the impetus needed to approach gender parity in UK academic chemistry from undergraduate to Professor.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • “Are chemistry educational apps useful?” – a quantitative study with three in-house apps
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-09-14
    Grace Lee Yuan Ping, Chang Lok, Tan Wei Yeat, Tan Jie Ying Cherynn, Emelyn Sue Qing Tan

    Three internally developed mobile apps, “3D Sym Op”, “SM2 Chem” and “ARMolVis”, available for free on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store were evaluated in seven studies. Each study was a systematic process of Pre-Test, In-lecture App Demo, App Assisted Interactive Tutorials (AAITs) and/or Independent App Usage (IAU), followed by a Survey and Post-Test. Overall, the mobile apps were effective evident by the higher Post-Test vs. Pre-Test % increase for those who used the app more frequently compared to those who used the app rarely. Apps were most effective when used in AAITs with the Blended Learning approach. This approach requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, but with some element of student free play such as using the app to complete worksheets in pairs or groups.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Peer learning as a tool to strengthen math skills in introductory chemistry laboratories
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-20
    Melissa C. Srougi, Heather B. Miller

    Math skills vary greatly among students enrolled in introductory chemistry courses. Students with weak math skills (algebra and below) tend to perform poorly in introductory chemistry courses, which is correlated with increased attrition rates. Previous research has shown that retention of main ideas in a peer learning environment is greater when partners have dissimilar abilities. Therefore, in an effort to improve student learning outcomes, we implemented peer learning interventions in our introductory chemistry laboratories to determine if math skills were enhanced when partners differed in math ability. Student performance and attitudes were analyzed in laboratory sections consisting of instructor-assigned partners who differed in math ability, compared to sections where students self-selected a partner. Students who were assigned math partners of different ability showed an 8% improvement in chemistry math concepts compared to no improvement among those who self-selected a partner, as assessed using pre- and post-math tests. Mathematical learning gains were particularly large (16%) for those students in the 50th percentile of math performance. Students also reported a significantly more positive attitude change about working with others compared to students who self-selected a partner. In addition, assigned students demonstrated a more positive shift in self-concepts such as chemistry knowledge and laboratory skills. This study illustrates that peer learning can serve as a useful and easy-to-implement tool to strengthen math skills and improve student attitudes in introductory chemistry laboratories.

    更新日期:2017-11-28
  • Diagnosing the quality of high school students’ and pre-service chemistry teachers’ cognitive structures in organic chemistry by using students’ generated systemic synthesis questions
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-15
    Tamara Hrin, Dušica Milenković, Mirjana Segedinac

    The importance of well elaborated cognitive structures in a science knowledge domain has been noted in many studies. Therefore, the main aim of this particular study was to employ a new diagrammatic assessment approach, students’ generated systemic synthesis questions (SSynQs), to evaluate and compare the quality of high school students’ and pre-service chemistry teachers’ cognitive structures in the organic chemistry domain. We used a mixed research sample (N = 83), and SSynQs were constructed following the high school chemical curriculum in the Republic of Serbia. Besides the overall quality of the cognitive structures, the size (extent) and strength (complexity) of the conceptual structures, as external representations of cognitive structures, were also analysed. It was found that both high school students and pre-service chemistry teachers had a substantial size of the conceptual structures, showing relatively good knowledge about IUPAC naming and structures of organic compounds, except for ethers. However, the strength of the conceptual structures, or inter-correlations between organic chemistry concepts, was evaluated as weak within high school students, and medium within pre-service chemistry teachers. This resulted in the identification of three main learning difficulties (LDs), accompanied by a lack of understanding (LU) about the chemical properties and relations of organic compounds. It was surprising to find that all identified LDs and LUs within high school students also appeared within pre-service chemistry teachers. What is more, the most desired and expected cognitive structures (distinguished multidimensional cognitive structures) without LDs and LUs appeared within high school students.

    更新日期:2017-11-27
  • The relationship between subject matter knowledge and teaching effectiveness of undergraduate chemistry peer facilitators
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    J. R. Boothe, R. A. Barnard, L. J. Peterson, B. P. Coppola

    Use of peer instruction and facilitation has surged in undergraduate education at large colleges and universities in recent years. Studies on peer instruction have been directed primarily at student learning gains and affective outcomes among the facilitators. For peer instructors, the relationship between their teaching effectiveness and their foundational content knowledge is assumed but understudied. In an effort to promote instructional coherence (i.e., instructional same-pageness) in the introductory organic chemistry program at the University of Michigan, we observed peer-led study group facilitators’ involvement in their study groups (as teachers of groups of 6–12 students) and in a companion course (as learners) designed to reinforce and enhance their content knowledge. Audiovisual recordings of the facilitators in both the companion course and, for ten of them, leading their study groups, were captured over each of the two week periods covering the topics of stereochemistry and also conformational analysis. Recordings were subsequently coded for topic and correctness in presentation of subject matter. Errors made in either study group or the companion course were investigated for error resolution (corrected or uncorrected), source of error, and propagation of corrected errors. Analysis of recordings revealed that facilitators who have their own errors corrected in the companion course, or observe their peers’ errors corrected in the companion course, correctly describe these concepts in study groups. On examining errors made by facilitators when they are leading study group sessions, a backwards analysis showed consistently that either the topics had not been addressed in the antecedent companion course, or the facilitator was not actively engaged with the discussion when the topics were being discussed. These findings have implications to inform not only our own implementation of peer-led study groups, but also those interested in designing subject matter companion courses for peer leaders in other instructional settings.

    更新日期:2017-11-27
  • Using self-efficacy beliefs to understand how students in a general chemistry course approach the exam process
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    Angela Willson-Conrad, Megan Grunert Kowalske

    Retention of students who major in STEM continues to be a major concern for universities. Many students cite poor teaching and disappointing grades as reasons for dropping out of STEM courses. Current college chemistry courses often assess what a student has learned through summative exams. To understand students' experiences of the exam process, including how students prepare for an exam, take an exam, and respond to feedback from an exam, data was collected through interviews with students in an introductory college chemistry course. The interview data was analyzed using emergent coding to describe students' experiences of the exam process using phenomenography. Data indicated that students' experiences with the exam process could be categorized based on their reported exam performance. Overall, differences could be seen between these students' self-efficacy beliefs and metacognitive skills based on the grade each student reported receiving on the exam. The students who performed highest on the exam had self-efficacy beliefs primarily from their mastery experience, and middle performing students' self-efficacy beliefs came from vicarious experience. The lowest performing student had low self-efficacy beliefs. Students who received the highest grades on the exam viewed learning as making meaningful connections between topics, and students who received lower grades viewed learning as memorization. By further understanding students study habits, their views on the exam process, and the development of their self-efficacy beliefs, instructors may be better able to assist low and middle performing students in our general chemistry courses. The findings from this study suggest several ways instructors could facilitate more effective studying and promote higher self-efficacy beliefs, including promoting group work, talking with students about study skills, and encouraging attendance at office hours to review exam responses.

    更新日期:2017-11-21
  • Students' visualisation of chemical reactions – insights into the particle model and the atomic model
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 1.906) Pub Date : 2017-10-31
    Maurice M. W. Cheng

    This paper reports on an interview study of 18 Grade 10–12 students’ model-based reasoning of a chemical reaction: the reaction of magnesium and oxygen at the submicro level. It has been proposed that chemical reactions can be conceptualised using two models: (i) the particle model, in which a reaction is regarded as the simple combination and rearrangement of reactant particles and does not involve any change in the identity of the reactants, and (ii) the atomic model, wherein a reaction involves the transformation of one chemical species into another. This paper suggests that although the particle model looks simpler than the atomic model, it can help to support the learning of some advanced chemical concepts such as energetics and collision theory. Therefore, it is postulated that students who reason using the particle model are able to demonstrate some advanced ideas about chemical reactions. The conceptualisation of reactions in terms of the atomic model and the particle model allows a flexible understanding of students’ learning. Students’ representations of the reaction between magnesium and oxygen were analysed with reference to the two models. The models were found to be useful in assessing the students’ understanding of the reaction and revealing the novel ways that the students reasoned the chemical reaction. In addition, a student who used the particle model to represent the reaction was found to explain the reaction in terms of some energetics and kinetics concepts. The study offers insights for curriculum planners and teachers into the potential of these two models to help students understand chemical reactions.

    更新日期:2017-11-21
Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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