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  • Untangling a complex relationship: teaching beliefs and instructional practices of assistant chemistry faculty at research-intensive institutions†
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2020-01-14
    Maia Popova; Lu Shi; Jordan Harshman; Annika Kraft; Marilyne Stains

    In this era of instructional transformation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses at the postsecondary level in the United States, the focus has been on educating science faculty about evidence-based instructional practices, i.e. practices that have been empirically proven to enhance student learning outcomes. The literature on professional development at the secondary level has demonstrated a tight interconnectedness between ones’ beliefs about teaching and learning and one's instructional practices and the need to attend to faculty's beliefs when engaging them in instructional change processes. Although discipline-based education researchers have made great strides in characterizing instructional practices of STEM faculty, much less attention has been given to understanding the beliefs of STEM about teaching and learning. Knowledge of instructors’ thinking can inform faculty professional development initiatives that encourage faculty to reflect on the beliefs that drive their classroom practices. Therefore, this study characterized the interplay between beliefs and instructional practices of nineteen assistant chemistry professors. Luft and Roehrig's Teaching Beliefs Interview protocol was used to capture beliefs; classroom observations and course artifacts were collected to capture practices. Clear trends were identified between faculty's beliefs (characterized through constant-comparative analysis and cluster analysis) and practices (characterized with Blumberg's Learner-Centered Teaching Rubric). Overall, beliefs of most of the participants were somewhat aligned with their instructional practices, with the exception of one cluster of faculty who held student-centered beliefs, but received only moderate scores on the Learner-Centered Teaching Rubric.

    更新日期:2020-01-14
  • Increasing Chemistry Students' Knowledge, Confidence, and Conceptual Understanding of pH using a Collaborative Computer pH Simulation
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2020-01-09
    Sandy White Watson; Anton V. Dubrovskiy; Michelle Peters

    The purpose of this quasi-experimental non-equivalent pretest posttest control group research was to determine whether or not the use of a collaborative pH computer simulation has an impact on the knowledge, confidence, and conceptual understanding of fundamental pH concepts for undergraduate Chemistry II students. A purposeful sample of 59 Chemistry II undergraduate students were administered pre/post assessments and surveys. Results indicated higher pH knowledge, pH confidence, and pH conceptual understanding among those students who had completed the collaborative computer simulation modules (23 students/intervention group) instead of the alternative traditional classroom assignments (36 students/control group).

    更新日期:2020-01-10
  • Transitions between representational levels: characterization of organic chemistry students’ mechanistic features when reasoning about laboratory work-up procedures
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-12-20
    Liz Keiner; Nicole Graulich

    Chemists refer to chemical phenomena on different representational levels—macroscopic, symbolic, and submicroscopic—which are directly related and connected to each other. Especially in the laboratory, students have to reason about various mechanistic features at the submicroscopic level and connect them in a meaningful way to make sense of the observable. There is plenty of evidence in chemistry education that students have difficulty connecting the different representational levels when thinking about chemical phenomena. However, current literature provides limited information about the mechanistic features that students activate when reasoning about phenomena and how they transition between the representational levels when in an organic chemistry laboratory. In this study, we performed in-depth analysis of how organic chemistry student teachers (N = 9) explained typical work-up procedures and characterized their activated mechanistic features and transitions between the different representational levels. Our analysis revealed that the students do not activate all features of a mechanism in the same way and construct various explanatory approaches. The findings emphasize the need to explicitly communicate how to connect the macroscopic and submicroscopic levels in a meaningful way in the laboratory. The implications of these findings for research, teaching, and learning to foster meaningful activation of mechanistic features are discussed.

    更新日期:2020-01-04
  • Chemistry critical friendships: investigating chemistry-specific discourse within a domain-general discussion of best practices for inquiry assessments
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-12-17
    Adam G. L. Schafer; Ellen J. Yezierski

    High school chemistry teachers struggle to use assessment results to inform instruction. In the absence of expert assistance, teachers often look to their peers for guidance and support; however, little is known about the assessment beliefs and practices of high school chemistry teachers or the discourse mechanisms used as teachers support one another. Presented in this paper are the results from analyzing a discussion between five high school chemistry teachers as they generated a set of best practices for inquiry assessments. To analyze the discussion, a novel representation called a discourse map was generated to align the analyses conducted on chemistry teacher discourse as they temporally occurred. Results show the utility of the discourse map for evidencing critical friendship and assessment practices evoked by the teachers during the discussion of best practices. Implications for the structural considerations of materials and chemistry teacher professional development are presented as well as potential future investigations of teacher discourse regarding the use of data to inform instruction.

    更新日期:2019-12-18
  • Building capabilities in chemistry education: happiness and discomfort through philosophical dialogue in chemistry†
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-12-10
    Lynda Dunlop; Annie Hodgson; Joshua Edward Stubbs

    Much attention is given to student satisfaction in higher education, driven in the UK by accountability mechanisms such as the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). However satisfaction is both limited and limiting, depending on students’ expectations and often associated with the avoidance of difficulty and discomfort. A more appropriate outcome for higher education is well-being and ability to flourish. This paper identifies a gap in undergraduate chemistry education. Talking Chemistry created an extracurricular space for undergraduate chemistry students to build capabilities to flourish through philosophical dialogue about chemistry. It involved 25 undergraduates over one academic year (2018–2019). Drawing on ethnographic observations, questionnaires and in-depth semi-structured individual interviews, we argue that philosophical dialogue in undergraduate chemistry studies opens up opportunities for discomfort that can contribute to students’ capabilities to achieve happiness and well-being by challenging students to think about their subject in new ways. Philosophical dialogue is a missing component of chemistry education, and we present a model for introducing it into higher education.

    更新日期:2019-12-17
  • Student assumptions and mental models encountered in IR spectroscopy instruction
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    Lyniesha Chanell Wright; Maria Theresa Oliver-Hoyo

    The mental models students have after engaging in an activity designed to teach infrared (IR) spectroscopy without reliance on IR absorption tables, were characterized. Qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews, through open coding, allowed the classification of the mental models as Molecules as Dynamic (MAD), Bonds as Dynamic (BAD), Molecules as Static (MAS), External Energy (EE), and Internal Energy (IE). Assumptions students have about structure, dynamics, and spectra when solving IR spectra were identified and grouped as intuitive, valid, and spurious. A connection was found between participants with more sophisticated mental models and those who used multi-variate reasoning. Participants were also more likely to be successful when they compared spectra. The results of the analysis suggest IR spectroscopy should be taught through a conceptual lens to guide learning about the interaction of energy and matter.

    更新日期:2019-12-13
  • Building mental models of a reaction mechanism: the influence of static and animated representations, prior knowledge, and spatial ability
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-12-10
    Amanda Bongers, Berthorie Beauvoir, Nicholas Streja, Georg Northoff, Alison B. Flynn

    In chemistry, novices and experts use mental models to simulate and reason about sub-microscopic processes. Animations are thus important tools for learning in chemistry to convey reaction dynamics and molecular motion. While there are many animations available and studies showing the benefit of learning from animations, there are also limitations to their design and effectiveness. Moreover, there are few experimental studies into learning chemistry from animations, especially organic reaction mechanisms. We conducted a mixed-methods study into how students learn and develop mental models of a reaction mechanism from animations. The study (N = 45) used a pre-/post-test experimental design and counterbalanced static and animated computerized learning activities (15 min each), plus short think-aloud interviews for some particiants (n = 20). We developed the tests and learning activities in a pilot study; these contained versions of an epoxide opening reaction mechanism either as static (using the electron-pushing formalism) or animated representations. Participants’ test accuracy, response times, and self-reported confidence were analyzed quantitatively (α = 0.05) and we found that, while participants showed a learning effect, there were no significant differences between the static and animated learning conditions. Participants’ spatial abilities were correlated to their test accuracy and influenced their learning gains for both conditions. Qualitative framework analysis of think-aloud interviews revealed changes in participants’ reasoning about the test questions, moving toward using rule- and case-based reasoning over model-based reasoning. This analysis also revealed that dynamic and transitional features were incorporated into participants’ working mental models of the reaction mechanism after learning from animations. The divergence of participants’ mental models for reasoning and visualization could suggest a gap in their mental model consolidation.

    更新日期:2019-12-10
  • Introducing students to experimental design skills
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-12-03
    L. Szalay, Z. Tóth, E. Kiss

    The results of an earlier empirical research study on modifying ‘step-by-step’ instructions to practical activities requiring one or more steps of the experiments to be designed by students initiated a longitudinal study to investigate the effectiveness of the approach for younger students and over a period of time. The longitudinal study that followed took the form of a four year research project that began in September 2016. Over 900 students have been involved. All were 12–13 years old in the beginning of the study. Each year they spend six lessons carrying out practical activities using worksheets we provide. This paper reports the findings of the first year, when the participating classes were allocated to one of three groups. Group 1 was the control group. Students simply followed the step-by-step instructions. Groups 2 and 3 were experimental groups. Group 2 students not only followed the same instructions, but also had to complete experimental design tasks on paper. Group 3 students followed the same instructions, but one or more steps were incomplete and students were required to design these steps. The impact of the intervention on the students’ experimental design skills, disciplinary content knowledge and attitude toward chemistry is measured by structured tests. After the first school year of the project it was clear that the type of instruction only had a weak significant positive effect on the results of the Group 2 students’ disciplinary content knowledge. No significant effect of the intervention could be detected on the changes in the students’ grades and attitudes toward the subject, which only seemed to depend on the ranking of their schools. This paper provides the interesting details of the results of the first year (pilot) of the research and discusses changes to the approach that have been made for the remaining three years of the project.

    更新日期:2019-12-03
  • Alignment of theoretically grounded constructs for the measurement of science and chemistry identity
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-11-09
    Kathryn N. Hosbein, Jack Barbera

    Identity has been theorized to aid in student persistence within STEM disciplines. In this study, science and chemistry identity were defined as being recognized as a science or chemistry person within the classroom. To generalize the effects that identity has on student persistence, a measurable construct must be defined, operationalized, and tested in multiple settings with different populations. This project addressed the first step in the process, defining the construct and grounding it in an established theoretical framework. This qualitative project utilized a previously described physics identity framework, with sub-constructs of performance/competence, recognition, and interest, as a starting point for the alignment of students’ perceptions of identity to the broader theoretical frameworks of identity. Nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with students from a range of chemistry courses at Portland State University. The interviews consisted of questions pertaining to the sub-constructs of identity. Thematic analysis was used to define emerging themes within student responses. These themes were found to align with an array of affective constructs, including mastery experiences, verbal persuasion, vicarious experiences, situational interest, and mindset. These constructs will be used to develop an identity measure for chemistry education that is grounded in the broader theoretical frameworks of identity.

    更新日期:2019-11-14
  • PAA black holes, Khan, and Quora: mapping understanding of isotopes through existing data sources†
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-11-07
    Wayne Breslyn

    Publicly available, learner-generated questions were used to develop a methodology for advancing the exploratory stages of science education research. Data from four complementary online sources were collected, analyzed, and compared to the extant research literature on the science education topic of isotopes, a challenging concept for many chemistry learners. Data from People Also Ask features on a popular search engine, questions in response to two videos (n = 770), and questions posted to two question and answer websites (n = 600 and n = 29 213) were analyzed. Multiple findings not present in the literature were detected across all data sources in this study. Findings suggest that these online sources can serve to inform research in science education by providing a rich, ecologically valid, and accessible source of data. Implications include the use of existing online data prior to initiating research, writing assessments, and developing curriculum for science topics as a means to achieve more robust and generalizable findings and instructional resources.

    更新日期:2019-11-14
  • Students’ competence in translating between different types of chemical representations
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-10-19
    Vasiliki Gkitzia, Katerina Salta, Chryssa Tzougraki

    Meaningful understanding of chemistry, among others, includes the ability of an individual to think simultaneously at macroscopic, submicroscopic and symbolic levels, and this presupposes the competence to translate between different types of chemical representations. In this study, we investigated 11th grade Greek students’ and 3rd year undergraduate chemistry students’ ability to translate chemical representations from one level of chemistry (e.g., submicroscopic) into another (e.g., symbolic) concerning the basic chemical concepts: “chemical element”, “chemical compound”, “aqueous solution” and “solid state of matter”, which have already been taught in earlier grades. We followed a mixed method design in which both quantitative and qualitative research instruments were developed and used. These instruments consisted of multiple choice and open-ended questions, which included real pictures (macroscopic), symbolizations and submicroscopic diagrams. Various representations of the three types were given to the students and they were asked to choose or to construct an equivalent one of a different type. Our results showed that the 11th grade students’ ability to move across the three levels of chemistry is very low, while the 3rd year undergraduate chemistry students’ performance is higher but not satisfactory. In addition, the results obtained from the application of “translation questions” between the three levels of chemistry highlighted many students’ alternative conceptions, some of which still persist among the undergraduate students. The students showed lower performance in translations concerning the concepts “chemical compound” and “aqueous solution” than those concerning the concepts “chemical element” and “solid state of matter”. The students also showed the lowest level of performance in translating the submicroscopic representations into the symbolic ones. Generally, our results indicate that translating between different types of chemical representations is a very challenging task, which depends on students’ conceptual understanding.

    更新日期:2019-11-14
  • Effectiveness of the active learning in organic chemistry faculty development workshops
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-11-06
    Justin B. Houseknecht, Garrin J. Bachinski, Madelyn H. Miller, Sarah A. White, Douglas M. Andrews

    Active learning has been shown to improve student outcomes and learning, yet organic chemistry instructors have been slow to adopt these pedagogies. The Chemistry Collaborations, Workshops, and Communities of Scholars (cCWCS) Active Learning in Organic Chemistry (ALOC) workshops have sought to facilitate the adoption of active learning methods by helping participants define active learning and understand best practices, persuading them to incorporate these practices into their teaching, and supporting their implementation efforts through an online community, Organic Educational Resources (OrganicERs.org). The effectiveness of the workshops was measured over a two-year period using teaching self-efficacy and teaching practices instruments. Comparison to pre-workshop self-efficacy surveys found significant and sustained gains for knowledge about and belief in the efficacy of active learning methods (d = 1.18 compared to pre-workshop responses) and confidence in intention to implement (d = 0.60). Belief that they were implementing more active learning in their classrooms (d = 0.85) was corroborated by the teaching practices survey and survey of class time allocation which also showed statistically significant (p < 0.001) and sustained growth in student centered teaching (d = 1.00), formative assessment (d = 1.04), student–student interactions (d = 0.96), and the amount of class time spent with students working in groups (d = 0.68) for the workshop participants. Gains for participants in the 3 hour Active Learning in Organic Chemistry workshops at the 2016 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) were smaller than those in the 4 day ALOC workshops, but still meaningful. These results indicate that the 2015 and 2016 Active Learning in Organic Chemistry faculty development workshops effectively increased participants’ knowledge about, belief in the efficacy of, and implementation of active learning methods.

    更新日期:2019-11-13
  • Measuring student engagement in the undergraduate general chemistry laboratory
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-11-06
    K. Christopher Smith, Valeria Alonso

    In this study a survey was developed to investigate students’ engagement during general chemistry laboratory sessions. Aspects of engagement surveyed included cognitive, behavioral, and emotional engagement, and the survey items were focused on activities during the pre-laboratory introduction, laboratory procedures, and data collection. Exploratory factor analysis of the results was conducted to determine the various underlying factors in the survey, and the scores of the general chemistry laboratory students along these underlying factors were compared. The findings supported the various dimensions of engagement reported in the literature.

    更新日期:2019-11-13
  • Linking a hierarchy of attitude effect to student engagement and chemistry achievement
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-11-06
    James Ross, Evelyn Guerra, Sheila Gonzalez-Ramos

    There are numerous influential factors contributing to students’ successful learning in introductory chemistry courses. One popularized factor is mathematical preparedness as gauged by a prerequisite mathematics grade or a standardized exam score. Less well known factors are students’ attitude toward the subject of chemistry or students’ involvement with chemistry. In this replication and extension study, students’ attitude in introductory chemistry courses, including a chemistry course designed for nursing and allied health students, was measured using the Attitude toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory. Results show that a low-involvement hierarchy of attitude effect for students’ attitude toward chemistry, previously observed after 5 weeks, persists throughout a semester, and is likely widespread in classes across our department. Results also suggest a measurable difference between students’ emotional satisfaction with chemistry and their emotional attachment to chemistry, the latter of which is connected with their engagement with chemistry rather than their achievement in chemistry. Students’ low-involvement influence on chemistry achievement is being mediated predominantly by the affective subcomponent of their attitude. Attitudes are learned and a low-involvement hierarchy of attitude effect is susceptible to positive change. The results presented herein cement the reliability and generality of previous findings and extend those findings. The hierarchy of attitude effect can serve as a bifocal lens to capture evidence of students’ engagement with chemistry learning (learning process) as well as their chemistry achievement (learning product).

    更新日期:2019-11-13
  • Introducing randomization tests via an evaluation of peer-led team learning in undergraduate chemistry courses
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-10-28
    Vanessa R. Ralph, Scott E. Lewis

    The methodological limitations education researchers face in the evaluation of reformed instruction have led to debates as to the evidence advancing evidence-based practices. To conduct more effective research, methodological pluralism in the evaluation of educational reforms can be used to complement the strengths and limitations of a corpus of literature informing the impact of an evidence-based practice. This study seeks to introduce randomization tests, a nonparametric statistical analysis incorporating a random-assignment component that can be applied to a single-subject (N = 1) research design, as a methodology to be counted amongst evaluations of instructional reforms. To demonstrate the utility of this approach, an evaluation of peer-led team learning (PLTL) for classes of second-semester general chemistry spanning 7 semesters was conducted using randomization tests. The design contributes novel understandings of PLTL including differences in effectiveness across instructors, trends in effectiveness over time, and a perspective as to the appropriateness of assumptions concerning statistical independence when applied to educational settings. At the research setting, four instructors (each constituting an individual case) alternated implementing lecture-based instruction and PLTL by term. Across these four instructors, the treatment effects of peer-led team learning when compared to lecture-based instruction ranged in impact (from d = 0.233 to 2.09). For two instructors, PLTL provided a means by which to significantly reduce the differential performances observed of students with variable preparations in mathematics, thereby advancing the equitability of their courses. Implications of this work include the incorporation of single-subject research designs in establishing evidence-based instructional practices, the effectiveness of PLTL as interpreted in a methodologically pluralistic context of the research literature, and enacting measurements of equity when gauging the success of instructional reforms in science. Further, this introduction to randomization tests offers another methodology for the evaluation of instructional reforms more widely applicable in educational settings with smaller sample sizes (e.g., reforms conducted within a single classroom or upper-level courses with small class sizes).

    更新日期:2019-10-28
  • Analyzing explanations of substitution reactions using lexical analysis and logistic regression techniques
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-10-16
    Amber J. Dood, John C. Dood, Daniel Cruz-Ramírez de Arellano, Kimberly B. Fields, Jeffrey R. Raker

    Assessments that aim to evaluate student understanding of chemical reactions and reaction mechanisms should ask students to construct written or oral explanations of mechanistic representations; students can reproduce pictorial mechanism representations with minimal understanding of the meaning of the representations. Grading such assessments is time-consuming, which is a limitation for use in large-enrollment courses and for timely feedback for students. Lexical analysis and logistic regression techniques can be used to evaluate student written responses in STEM courses. In this study, we use lexical analysis and logistic regression techniques to score a constructed-response item which aims to evaluate student explanations about what is happening in a unimolecular nucleophilic substitution (i.e., SN1) reaction and why. We identify three levels of student explanation sophistication (i.e., descriptive only, surface level why, and deeper why), and qualitatively describe student reasoning about four main aspects of the reaction: leaving group, carbocation, nucleophile and electrophile, and acid–base proton transfer. Responses scored as Level 1 (N = 113, 11%) include only a description of what is happening in the reaction and do not address the why for any of the four aspects. Level 2 responses (N = 549, 53%) describe why the reaction is occurring at a surface level (i.e., using solely explicit features or mentioning implicit features without deeper explanation) for at least one aspect of the reaction. Level 3 responses (N = 379, 36%) explain the why at a deeper level by inferring implicit features from explicit features explained using electronic effects for at least one reaction aspect. We evaluate the predictive accuracy of two binomial logistic regression models for scoring the responses with these levels, achieving 86.9% accuracy (with the testing data set) when compared to human coding. The lexical analysis methodology and emergent scoring framework could be used as a foundation from which to develop scoring models for a broader array of reaction mechanisms.

    更新日期:2019-10-17
  • How to promote chemical literacy? On-line question posing and communicating with scientists
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-09-17
    Zehavit Kohen, Orit Herscovitz, Yehudit Judy Dori

    Facilitating students' chemical literacy is a focal point of current science education. This study examines views of chemists and chemistry teachers on chemical literacy and, more broadly, on scientific literacy of four kinds of stakeholders: scientists, teachers, STEM students, and the educated public. We explored the views of 347 participants, representing the four stakeholder groups with diversified scientific literacy, and an Ask-a-Scientist public website as a communication channel for facilitating chemical literacy through posing questions. Research tools included interviews, open-ended questionnaires, and questions retrieved from the website. We found that the questions posed on the website expressed a range of levels of chemical literacy that the students had constructed. The stakeholder groups expressed diverse perspectives of their experiences using various types of communication channels, arguing for the need to encourage students to pose questions and receive scientists' responses. Our study is placed in the larger context of scientific literacy and communication channels, as it takes the example of chemical literacy, with a focus on communications among scientists and chemistry teachers in the context of an Ask-a-Scientist website. It has established a link between responses of various stakeholders and the literature definitions regarding scientific literacy with focus on chemical literacy. From a practical viewpoint, the study presents a productive communication channel for posing questions in the context of chemistry and other sciences. Methodologically, this study includes the design of tools for analyzing both the views of different stakeholders and for evaluating the complexity level of chemistry questions, which might serve chemistry educators.

    更新日期:2019-10-17
  • Secondary school students’ acquisition of science capital in the field of chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-08-27
    Lilith Rüschenpöhler, Silvija Markic

    Research has shown that students’ science capital has a large impact on their science aspirations and their development of science identities. In this study, we apply the notion of science capital to chemistry education in order to investigate how students make use of science capital in the field of chemistry. We define chemistry capital as a person's resources that help him or her to succeed in the field of chemistry (e.g., parents know chemistry content, sharing chemistry-related activities at home,…). We interviewed 48 secondary school students in Germany and conducted a thematic analysis. It reveals the following. (i) Chemistry capital in the home environment is unevenly distributed. Students who do not have family members who can connect with the mainstream conception of chemistry tend to be concentrated in schools with the lowest entry requirements (Hauptschulen, lower secondary education). Chemistry capital, therefore, tends to be reproduced. (ii) In most cases, families’ chemistry capital translates into students’ individual chemistry capital. This shows up in a multitude of links between families’ chemistry capital and students’ individual chemistry capital. (iii) The German school structures tend to aggravate the existing inequalities: this tends to deprive the students from Hauptschulen of qualified chemistry teachers. (iv) In some exceptional cases, students acquire chemistry capital independently from their families’ capital. They do so either by following chemistry-related YouTube channels or by developing a chemistry identity as part of a general learner identity. In order to reduce the existing inequalities, there is an urgent need to provide Hauptschulen in Germany with qualified teaching staff for chemistry. If this precondition is met, teaching approaches that focus on identity building and engaging students and their parents in a dialogue about chemistry could potentially be fruitful.

    更新日期:2019-10-17
  • A teacher perspective on Scrum methodology in secondary chemistry education
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-09-18
    Johannes Vogelzang, Wilfried F. Admiraal, Jan H. Van Driel

    Scrum methodology is a novel framework for teaching intended to scaffold students' learning process when they work on complex, real-world tasks. It is originally a project management framework frequently used in business and industry to manage projects. Scrum methodology is increasingly used in educational contexts. Yet, it is also a rather complex framework and more insight in how teachers understand and implement Scrum methodology is needed. Twelve teachers attended a professional development program and simultaneously implemented Scrum methodology in their chemistry lessons. Teachers' didactical expertise and pedagogical expertise appeared to play a key role during the implementation process, whereas teachers' subject matter expertise, and other factors such as teaching context, teaching experience and personal biography seemed to be less important. Didactical and pedagogical expertise enhances teaching with Scrum: it supports the implementation as well as increases its effectiveness, independently of teaching context, experience and personal biography. This would mean Scrum methodology offers possibilities for teachers to enhance and enrich their teaching practice.

    更新日期:2019-10-17
  • Secondary school students’ chemistry self-concepts: gender and culture, and the impact of chemistry self-concept on learning behaviour
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-09-02
    Lilith Rüschenpöhler, Silvija Markic

    While science self-concepts of secondary school students have received considerable attention, several important aspects of chemistry self-concepts have not yet been understood: gender relations, the impact of students' cultural backgrounds, and the impact of chemistry self-concept on learning processes. In the present study, (i) we could confirm our hypothesis that chemistry self-concept is strongly related to learning goal orientations. This part of the study built upon knowledge from educational psychology. Our results open the field for practical interventions designed to influence chemistry self-concepts. (ii) We investigated the gender relations in chemistry self-concept with a special focus on students’ cultural backgrounds. The results show that chemistry self-concept differs from science self-concept: the gender gap traditionally described in the literature could not be found. Instead, the study suggests that an interaction of gender and cultural background might influence chemistry self-concepts. (iii) We were interested in the influence of the context of chemistry classroom and language on self-concept. In line with the literature, we found that a good relationship with the chemistry teacher seems to have a positive impact on chemistry self-concept. Also, the perception of chemistry language and chemistry self-concepts were strongly correlated. Suggestions are made for practical interventions based on these findings.

    更新日期:2019-10-17
  • Profiling the combinations of multiple representations used in large-class teaching: pathways to inclusive practices
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-09-16
    João Elias Vidueira Ferreira, Gwendolyn Angela Lawrie

    Teachers select multiple representations and adopt multiple visualization approaches in supporting their students to make meaning of chemical phenomena. Representational competence underpins students’ construction of their mental models of concepts thus it is important that teachers consider this while developing instructional resources. In tertiary chemistry, teachers typically use PowerPoint slides to guide lectures. This instructional resource is transferred between different teachers each semester and, while the sequence of topics are likely to be discussed and agreed upon, the content of the slides can evolve organically in this shared resource over time. The aim of this study was to analyse a teacher-generated resource in the form of a consensus set of course slides to characterise the combination and diversity in representations that students had encountered. This study was set in a unique context since the semester's lecture slides represented a distillation of consensus representations used by multiple chemistry lecturers for at least a decade. The representations included: those created by the lecturers; textbook images (from several texts); photographs and images sourced from the internet. Individual representations in each PowerPoint slide were coded in terms of the level of representation, mode and potential function in supporting deeper understanding of chemistry concepts. Three representational organizing frameworks (functional taxonomy of multiple representations, modes of representation and the chemistry triplet levels of thinking) were integrated to categorise the representations. This qualitative data was subjected to hierarchical cluster analysis and several relationships between the categories and topics taught were identified. Additional qualitative data in the form of student reflections on the perceived utility of specific representations were collected at the end of the semester. The findings from this study inform the design and choice of instructional resources for general chemistry particularly in combining representations to support deeper learning of concepts. A broader goal and application of the findings of this study is to identify opportunities for translation of representations into alternative modalities to widen access and participation in learning chemistry for all students. An example of a strategy for translating representations into tactile modes for teaching the topic of phase change is shared.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Explicit versus implicit similarity – exploring relational conceptual understanding in organic chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-08-20
    Nicole Graulich, Sebastian Hedtrich, René Harzenetter

    Learning to interpret organic structures not as an arrangement of lines and letters but, rather, as a representation of chemical entities is a challenge in organic chemistry. To successfully deal with the variety of molecules or mechanistic representations, a learner needs to understand how a representation depicts domain-specific information. Various studies that focused on representational competence have already investigated how learners relate a representation to its corresponding concept. However, aside from a basic connectional representational understanding, the ability to infer a comparable reactivity from multiple different functional groups in large molecules is important for undergraduate students in organic chemistry. In this quantitative study, we aimed at exploring how to assess undergraduate students’ ability to distinguish between conceptually relevant similarities and distracting surface similarities among representations. The instrument consisted of multiple-choice items in four concept categories that are generally used to estimate the reactivity in substitution reactions. This exploratory study shows that the item design for assessing students’ conceptual understanding influences students’ answering patterns. Insights and pitfalls gained from this investigation and future directions for research and teaching are provided.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Teaching energy in living systems to a blind student in an inclusive classroom environment†
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-08-19
    Dilek Teke, Mustafa Sozbilir

    This study aimed to identify the needs of a 10th grade congenitally blind student in an inclusive chemistry classroom and design and develop tactile materials to teach the ‘energy in living systems’ topic with particular emphasis on covering the symbolic language of the chemistry. A single case study design was used to carry out an in-depth and thorough investigation. The student's needs were identified through classroom observations and interviews. Based on the needs identified, 2D and 3D tactile instructional materials were designed and developed to cover the topic. Interview and observation data suggested that following the instructions the student developed an understanding of the concepts regarding the energy in living systems together with the symbolic representations used in chemistry. He showed an understanding of molecular structures when he was asked to recognize the 3D models of the molecular structures. He was able to recognize all of the structures and could respond to questions regarding the parts of these molecular structures. Although the results are limited to one congenitally blind student, there is evidence that a blind student can learn complex molecular structures if he/she was provided with materials which suit his/her needs. The results also suggest evidence of how to produce low cost instructional materials for a blind student in chemistry.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Exploring prospective chemistry teachers’ perceptions of precipitation, conception of precipitation reactions and visualization of the sub-microscopic level of precipitation reactions
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-08-14
    Canan Nakiboğlu, Nuri Nakiboğlu

    In this study, how prospective chemistry teachers (PCTs) perceive precipitation and conceptualize precipitation reactions at the symbolic level was explored. Further, it was of interest to identify PCTs’ visualization of the sub-microscopic level of precipitation reactions. The sample was drawn from the Chemistry Education Department at the Education Faculty of a Turkish Public University. A total of 46 PCTs (10 in the 4th semester, 15 in the 6th semester, and 21 in the 8th semester) participated in the study. The data were collected using an instrument with three open-ended questions developed by the authors and with interviews. It was revealed that the PCTs thought about precipitation in qualitatively different ways depending on their practices of phenomena. The PCTs’ perceptions of precipitation were grouped into three issues coded as (1) reacting two salt solutions, (2) undissolved solid and (3) residue. It was found that half of the PCTs (24 of the 46 PCTs) did not use state symbols when writing the precipitation equations and more than half of them included the molecular dissolution features in their drawings. It was suggested that instruction should be to address incorporating a relation between the sub-microscopic, symbolic and macroscopic levels by using the animations.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Comparing the influence of visualization type in an electrochemistry laboratory on the student discourse: who do they talk to and what do they say?
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-07-03
    Vichuda Hunter, Ian Hawkins, Amy J. Phelps

    A laboratory is a large investment of time and money for departments of chemistry yet discussions continue about its purpose in the educational process. Helping students navigate the three levels of representation; macroscopic, particulate and symbolic is a potential use of this time. This study looked at two different types of visualization for an electrochemistry laboratory in second semester general chemistry and the impact that the visualization type had on the student discourse. Macroscopic visualization (MV) was accomplished through a traditional hands-on laboratory and particulate visualization (PV) was achieved using a computer simulation featuring animated electrons and ions. The type of visualization impacted how much the students talked, who they talked to, and what they talked about. The MV students engaged in less peer-to-peer discussion than the PV students. The MV students expressed more excitement about their observations and were more focused on getting the data quickly. The MV spent most of their time physically doing the laboratory work while spending little time discussing the concepts. The PV students spent more time talking about concepts with their peers especially at the particulate level even answering macroscopic questions with particulate explanations. The type of visualization influenced all aspects of the student discourse.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Critical consumption of chemistry visuals: eye tracking structured variation and visual feedback of redox and precipitation reactions†
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-07-03
    S. J. R. Hansen, B. Hu, D. Riedlova, R. M. Kelly, S. Akaygun, A. Villalta-Cerdas

    This mixed method study investigation uses eye tracking and qualitative analysis to investigate the impact of animation variation and visual feedback on the critique of submicroscopic representations of experimental phenomena. Undergraduate general chemistry students first viewed an experimental video of a precipitation or oxidation reduction (redox) reaction. Next, they viewed the corresponding animations and were shown a visualization of where they had looked. Critique of the chemically relevant features in the animations and viewing pattern were monitored using participant generated drawings, verbal responses, graphic organizers, and eye tracking. Viewing and critique of chemically relevant features were found to increase after engaging with structured animations and visual feedback. Findings from this study support the use of structured variations and visual feedback in developing critical consumers of visual information, empowering students to describe and develop their understanding of chemical phenomena and become more purposeful visual consumers.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Investigation of pre-service chemistry teachers’ understanding of radioactive decay: a laboratory modelling activity
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-06-29
    Sevinç Nihal Yeşiloğlu

    The first purpose of this study was to introduce a laboratory modelling activity focusing on teaching the concepts of radioactive elements/atoms, radioactive decay, and half-life. The second was to investigate pre-service chemistry teachers’ understanding of these concepts. Fifteen pre-service chemistry teachers who had enrolled in a Physical Chemistry Laboratory course participated in the study. The participants simulated the radioactive decay process of an imaginary radioactive element called Cornium during the laboratory modelling activity. In this way, pre-service chemistry teachers were able to visualize and model what is meant by radioactive decay and half-life. Data sources included responses given to open-response conceptual questions, participants’ drawings about radioactive decay and half-life, semi-structured interviews, activity worksheets, and observation notes. Qualitative analysis of data revealed that the pre-service chemistry teachers had misconceptions about the definition of radioactive elements/atoms, radioactive decay, and the half-life process before the activity. The role of the modelling activity in exposing and eliminating these misconceptions was discussed.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Relationship between teaching assistants’ perceptions of student learning challenges and their use of external representations when teaching acid–base titrations in introductory chemistry laboratory courses†
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-06-24
    Nicole Baldwin, MaryKay Orgill

    Practicing chemists use models, diagrams, symbols, and figures to represent phenomena which cannot be detected by the human senses. Although research suggests that these external representations (ERs) can also be used to address the challenges that students have in learning chemistry, it is not clear how instructors' use of ERs aligns with their perceptions of student learning difficulties. In other words, do instructors use ERs to address what they perceive as students' major challenges in learning chemistry, or are they using ERs for other reasons? The answer to this question could have implications for the professional development of chemistry instructors, including both classroom instructors and laboratory facilitators. As a pilot study to guide the development of a larger project focused on the use and interpretation of ERs, we interviewed eleven general chemistry teaching assistants at a major university in the U.S. Southwest about their use of ERs when facilitating acid–base titration laboratory activities. Our data suggest that there is a lack of alignment between teaching assistants’ primary reported use of ERs and the primary challenge that they perceive their students have when learning about acid–base titrations. We discuss potential reasons for this misalignment, as well as implications for teaching assistant training related to the use of ERs in the laboratory learning environment.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Biochemistry instructors’ use of intentions for student learning to evaluate and select external representations of protein translation
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-06-07
    Thomas J. Bussey, MaryKay Orgill

    Instructors draw on their intentions for student learning in the enactment of curriculum, particularly in the selection and presentation of external representation of scientific phenomena. These representations both create opportunities for students to experience non-experiential biochemical phenomena, such as protein translation, and constrain the possibilities for student learning based on the limited number of features depicted and the visual cues used to draw viewers attention to those features. In this study, we explore biochemistry instructors’ intentions for student learning about protein translation and how those intentions influence their selection of external representations for instruction. A series of instructor interviews were used to identify information that students need to know in order to develop a biochemically accurate understanding of protein translation. We refer to this information as the “critical features” of protein translation. Two dominant themes of critical features were identified: (1) components/structures of protein translation and (2) interactions/chemistry of protein translation. Three general components (the ribosome, the mRNA, and the tRNA) and two primary interactions (base pairing and peptide bond formation) were described by all instructors. Instructors tended to favor simpler, stylized representations that closely aligned with their stated critical features of translation for instructional purposes.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • What you see is what you learn? The role of visual model comprehension for academic success in chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-06-07
    Thomas Dickmann, Maria Opfermann, Elmar Dammann, Martin Lang, Stefan Rumann

    Visualizations and visual models are of substantial importance for science learning (Harrison and Treagust, 2000), and it seems impossible to study chemistry without visualizations. More specifically, the combination of visualizations with text is especially beneficial for learning when dual coding is fostered (Mayer, 2014). However, at the same time, comprehending the visualizations and visual models appears to be rather difficult for learners (e.g., Johnstone, 2000). This may be one reason for the difficulties students experience especially during the university entry phase, which in a worst-case-scenario can result in high university drop-out rates as they are currently found in science-related study courses (Chen, 2013). In this regard, our study investigates, how the ability to handle and learn with visualizations – which we call visual model comprehension – relates to academic success at the beginning of chemistry studies. To do so, we collected the data of 275 chemistry-freshmen during their first university year. Our results show that visual model comprehension is a key factor for students to be successful in chemistry courses. For instance, visual model comprehension is able to predict exam grades in introductory chemistry courses as well as general chemistry content knowledge. Furthermore, our analyses point out that visual model comprehension acts as a mediator for the relation between prior knowledge and (acquired) content knowledge in chemistry studies. Given this obvious importance of visual model comprehension, our findings could give valuable insights regarding approaches to foster chemistry comprehension and learning especially for students at the beginning of their academic career.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Teachers personalize videos and animations of biochemical processes: results from a professional development workshop†
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-30
    Bat-Shahar Dorfman, Bronwyn Terrill, Kate Patterson, Anat Yarden, Ron Blonder

    Despite the advancements in the production and accessibility of videos and animations, a gap exists between their potential for science teaching and their actual use in the classroom. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate an approach to boost chemistry and biology teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) and their confidence regarding the use of videos and animations in class, which are required for their effective implementation. Twelve experienced high-school chemistry and biology teachers participated in a professional development workshop including biochemistry and technological–pedagogical lectures along with video-editing instruction and practice. Teachers were provided with digital videos including high-resolution scientifically based animations and were encouraged to edit them based on their pedagogical experience and the needs of their class. We investigated how the workshop affected teachers' TPACK-confidence and TPACK. TPACK-confidence was assessed by pre- and post-workshop questionnaires and open-ended feedback questionnaires. TPACK was assessed by analyses of the edited digital videos and pedagogical considerations submitted by the teachers. It was found that teachers' TPACK-confidence was significantly higher following the workshop. There was also a development in the teachers' TPACK. They were able to recommend to use digital videos in a variety of classroom situations based on the technological pedagogical knowledge (e.g., as an opening to a new topic) and their TPACK (e.g., to visualize complex biochemical processes). We also found a development in their video-editing skills and their knowledge of how to use this technology effectively in biochemistry lessons. Results indicate that training teachers in using technological tools while providing them with relevant Content Knowledge and TPACK, and relying on their pre-existing Pedagogical Content Knowledge may assist them develop their TPACK and TPACK-confidence. This may promote the effective use of videos and animations in biochemistry teaching.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Multiple representations in the development of students’ cognitive structures about the saponification reaction
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-24
    Mónica Baptista, Iva Martins, Teresa Conceição, Pedro Reis

    The purpose of this study was to understand how the use of multiple representations (MR), during a sequence of lessons on the saponification reaction, can help students develop their cognitive structures. We examined (i) the effect of the teaching sequence with MR on the development of the students’ cognitive structures and (ii) how, according to the students, that sequence helped them to develop their cognitive structures. This study was conducted in three Grade 12 classes, including a total of 68 students. This study follows a pre-experimental one group pretest–posttest design, providing an intervention during the experiment. We used two data collection instruments: a Word Association Test (WAT) and a focus group interview. The results obtained from the WAT show that the students’ cognitive structures progressed from the pretest to posttest, with an increase in the number of response words and connections between words, and with a change in the nature of these connections. The results suggest that this development was influenced by the way students used MR, making use of the three MR functions proposed by Ainsworth (2006, 2008). The students recognized that the combination of the three MR functions allowed them to move across representation levels (macroscopic, symbolic and submicroscopic) and to develop a deeper and more structured understanding of the concepts related to the saponification reaction.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Two studies comparing students’ explanations of an oxidation–reduction reaction after viewing a single computer animation: the effect of varying the complexity of visual images and depicting water molecules
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-22
    Martin H. Cole, Deborah P. Rosenthal, Michael J. Sanger

    This paper describes two studies comparing students’ explanations of an oxidation–reduction reaction after viewing the chemical demonstration and one of two different particulate-level computer animations. In the first study, the two animations differed primarily in the complexity of the visual images. Students viewing the more simplified animation provided more correct explanations regarding the identity of water and nitrate ions in the animations, the absence of ion pairs, the correct ratios of silver to nitrate ions and silver ions to copper atoms, the electron transfer process, size changes in the atoms and ions as the reaction occurred, the source of blue colour in solution, and the driving force for the reaction. Students viewing the more simplified animation also wrote more correct balanced chemical equations for the reaction compared to students viewing the more complex animation. Students in the first study also noted that the more simplified animation did not depict extraneous information (camera angle changes, the overabundance of water molecules), and did depict relevant information (atom and ion charges, the number of electrons transferred, the source of the blue colour). In the second study, the two animations differed only by whether water molecules were shown or omitted from the animation. Students’ explanations for most concepts were similar for these two groups of students; however, students viewing the animation with water molecules omitted were better able to identify nitrate ions in the animation. The only difference the students in the second study noticed between the two animations is the presence or absence of water molecules, but these student did not agree as to whether showing or omitting water molecules was more beneficial. The results of the two studies together suggest that showing or omitting water molecules in the animations had a limited effect on students’ explanations of the oxidation–reduction process.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • South African university students’ attitudes towards chemistry learning in a virtually simulated learning environment†
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-17
    Mafor Penn, Umesh Ramnarain

    This mixed method study investigated changes in 3rd year Bachelor of Education students’ attitudes towards chemistry after learning interventions with virtual chemistry simulations. After participant students identified certain concepts from their 3rd year chemistry module as being abstract and not easily comprehensible, these concepts were facilitated during a 5 week learning intervention using PhET simulations as an alternative to traditional laboratory experimentation. In the first quantitative phase of the study, a 30-item pre-attitude test was administered to assess students’ attitudes towards chemistry, followed by PhET chemistry simulation learning interventions. Thereafter, students wrote a post-attitude test. Findings of this phase revealed a significantly higher mean post-attitude test score, with students showing a positive attitude towards chemistry learning, post-intervention. The quantitative phase was followed by a qualitative phase which examined students’ experiences on the use of simulations through semi-structured interviews. Findings from the qualitative phase revealed that students experienced autonomy and enjoyment during engagement with the simulations. They also perceived that their experiences in the virtually simulated environment improved their visualisation of chemistry concepts, thereby improving conceptual understanding. However, the students acknowledged that simulations cannot replicate the realism and authenticity associated with practical work in an actual laboratory. The implications of these findings are that virtual simulations provide a complementary learning tool capable of improving students’ attitudes towards chemistry, and perceived by students to support their visualisation of abstract chemistry concepts. The findings of this study are particularly significant for chemistry learning at schools and universities in economically challenged countries such as South Africa where there is a shortage of well-equipped laboratories.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Representational challenges in animated chemistry: self-generated animations as a means to encourage students’ reflections on sub-micro processes in laboratory exercises
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-10
    Astrid Berg, Daniel Orraryd, Alma Jahic Pettersson, Magnus Hultén

    A central aspect of learning chemistry is learning to relate observations of phenomena to models of the sub-microscopic level of matter, and hence being able to explain the observable phenomena. However, research shows that students have difficulties discerning and comprehending the meaning of the sub-micro level and its models, and that practical work in its traditional form fails to help students to discern the relation between observations and models. Consequently, there is a strong call for new teaching activities to address these issues. This paper emerges from a growing number of studies showing that learning is supported when students are set to cooperatively create their own multimodal representations of science phenomena. In this paper, we explore the approach of letting students create their own stop-motion animation as a means to explain observations during practical work. The students’ work of producing a phenomenon in the laboratory and creating an animation was recorded (audio–video) to capture students’ verbal and non-verbal interactions and use of resources. Data was analysed using a thematic content analysis with a deductive approach aimed at identifying the aspects of chemistry content that are being reasoned. The analysis showed that the task enabled students to engage in reasoning concerning both the observations and the sub-micro-level models, and how they relate to each other. The task also enabled students to reason about features of the representation that are needed to make sense of both the observational and sub-microscopic aspects of a phenomenon, as well as reflecting upon the meaning of a model.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Supporting students’ conceptual understanding of kinetics using screencasts and simulations outside of the classroom
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-08
    Ryan D. Sweeder, Deborah G. Herrington, Jessica R. VandenPlas

    Simulations have changed chemistry education by allowing students to visualize the motion and interaction of particles underlying important chemical processes. With kinetics, such visualizations can illustrate how particles interact to yield successful reactions and how changes in concentration and temperature impact the number and success of individual collisions. This study examined how a simulation exploring particle collisions, or screencast employing the same simulation, used as an out-of-class introduction helped develop students’ conceptual understanding of kinetics. Students either manipulated the simulation themselves using guided instructions or watched a screencast in which an expert used the same simulation to complete an assignment. An iterative design approach and analysis of pretest and follow up questions suggests that students in both groups at two different institutions were able to achieve a common base level of success. Instructors can then build upon this common experience when instructing students on collision theory and kinetics. Eye-tracking studies indicate that the simulation and screencast groups engage with the curricular materials in different ways, which combined with student self-report data suggests that the screencast and simulation provide different levels of cognitive demand. This increased time on task suggests that the screencast may hold student interest longer than the simulation alone.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Attraction vs. repulsion – learning about forces and energy in chemical bonding with the ELI-Chem simulation
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-04-17
    Asnat R. Zohar, Sharona T. Levy

    This work seeks to solve one of the basic problems in chemistry learning: understanding the chemical bond as a dynamic equilibrium between attractive and repulsive forces. This force-based model is difficult to grasp, as there are no analogues from everyday life for both attractions and repulsions happening simultaneously. In addition, current teaching approaches often mislead by using mainly the ‘octet rule’ heuristic. As a result, students construct naïve models of the chemical bond, usually viewing atoms as solid balls that are attached to each other in order to “achieve an octet.” To represent the force-based dynamics of the bond, we designed the ELI-Chem learning environment. This environment enables interaction as an atom with another atom while observing the underlying forces and the potential energy curve. Our theoretical framework is based on Embodied Learning theory by relating conceptual learning to bodily experiences. The study uses qualitative and quantitative methods with 21 high school chemistry students in a pretest–intervention–posttest design. During a 40 minute activity with the ELI-Chem simulation, students were prompted to discover the underlying forces of bonding and relate them to energy changes. Findings show that learning with the ELI-Chem simulation supports students in gaining the knowledge elements that are required to build the dynamic force-based mental model of chemical bonding, and to conceptualize chemical energy as due to forces. Finally, the design principles of the ELI-Chem environment are discussed. Aligned with science standards, attending to students’ difficulties, and using the advantages of a computer simulation, the ELI-Chem environment provides an appropriate representation of chemical bonding, which is more valid scientifically yet makes the abstract concept accessible.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • An examination of students' perceptions of the Kekulé resonance representation using a perceptual learning theory lens
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-03-23
    Thomas Kim, L. Kate Wright, Kathryn Miller

    Students in chemistry often demonstrate difficulty with the principle of resonance. Despite many attempts to mitigate this difficulty, there have been few attempts to examine the root cause of these issues. In this study, students were assessed for their perception of Kekulé structures based on perceptual learning theory, which is grounded in cognitive mechanisms of visual perception. The data from this assessment shows that students are perceiving inappropriate clues from this representation, which infers that the image itself might be an impediment to learning about resonance. Employment of a metarepresentational competence approach was used to address these misperceptions.

    更新日期:2019-10-16
  • Assessing TA buy-in to expectations and alignment of actual teaching practices in a transformed general chemistry laboratory course
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-09-02
    Erin M. Duffy, Melanie M. Cooper

    Inquiry-style laboratory courses, in which students engage in open-ended projects rather than a prescribed set of experimental steps (“cookbooks”), are becoming increasingly popular at the undergraduate level. Reformed curricula require reforms in training teachers; in the case of large universities, laboratory instructors are typically graduate teaching assistants (TAs). The General Chemistry Laboratory courses at a large, public, research-intensive university in the Midwestern region of the United States recently underwent a transformation from a “cookbook” to a project-based lab, and despite efforts to improve training, TAs continue to express difficulty teaching the course. To determine the source of these difficulties, we conducted multiple video observations and semi-structured interviews with seven TAs throughout one semester. We report TAs’ beliefs about what is expected of them, their philosophical alignment to perceived expectations, and a comparison of the Lab Coordinator's expectations to TAs’ actual teaching practices. We found that the TAs generally agreed with behaviors they were expected to perform, but responses to actions they were not supposed to do indicated that they were unsure of what the Lab Coordinator expected and personally believed that an ideal TA would perform those actions. This work highlights a need to clearly communicate the aims and expectations in a course and the rationale for those choices.

    更新日期:2019-09-06
  • Enhancing formative and self-assessment with video playback to improve critique skills in a titration laboratory
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-08-14
    Poh Nguk Lau

    The rhetorical argument that laboratory courses are crucial for training skilled STEM practitioners is ill-evidenced in teaching practice. The arduous task of implementing instructor-led skill assessment in large-cohort courses and persistent student disengagement from its educative goals are some obstacles. This study emphasized the need to equip learners to self-assess technical skills, supported by explicit performance standards and objective evidence. It trials two interventions, a self-assessment (SA) checklist and a learner-recorded video, to examine how the combination impacts the appraisal ability and attitudes towards SA. The participants were from a first year chemistry course in a biotechnology and chemical engineering course. All the participants self-assessed titration competencies against a checklist, with about half assisted with a video replay. A video critique task showed a significant main effect by intervention. SA-with-video participants scored higher than SA-only participants and the control group. The additional video intervention did not produce any significant gains above SA alone. Qualitative analysis revealed that SA-with-video participants were more targeted in their critique responses. Video differences in attitudinal responses towards SA were not prominent. Selected SA items related to perceptions of the value of SA in skill improvement, and, as a future study strategy, goals and commitment of using SA for skill improvement, were associated with video exposure in the biotechnology course, or with the course in the video group. Improvements for future work are discussed.

    更新日期:2019-08-29
  • An examination of pre-service chemistry teachers’ meaningful understanding and learning difficulties about aromatic compounds using a systemic assessment questions diagram
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-07-29
    Gulten Sendur

    In order for students to reach a level of meaningful understanding of chemistry, it is vital that they are able to form accurate relationships between different concepts. In particular, in organic chemistry, identifying intermolecular reactions, considering these reactions as a whole, and defining their results will make important contributions to attaining meaningful understanding. This study aims to explore how pre-service chemistry teachers identify aromatic compound reactions and form associations between them and to discover what kinds of learning difficulties they encounter in forming these associations. In this context, the study, conducted as phenomenographical research, was carried out at a faculty of education in Turkey with 15 pre-service teachers enrolled in the Department of Chemistry Education who had taken the Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 courses. Selected on the basis of purposive sampling, the pre-service chemistry teachers were first asked systemic assessment questions (SAQs) related to aromatic compound reactions. In these questions, the pre-service chemistry teachers were asked to identify 7 molecules in the class of aromatic compounds and complete a diagram by taking into consideration synthesis and reaction conditions. The pre-service chemistry teachers were also asked to indicate two reactions that were not included in the SAQs diagram, together with their reagents and conditions. After completing their responses to the SAQs diagram, individual interviews were held with each of the pre-service chemistry teachers using the think-aloud technique. The research revealed at the end of the quantitative analysis of the data obtained from the SAQs diagram that most of the pre-service chemistry teachers achieved moderate-level scores. At the same time, the qualitative analysis of the data obtained from the SAQs diagram and from the interviews showed that the pre-service chemistry teachers were more successful in identifying and forming associations with the reactions of “nitration” and “sulfonation of aromatic compounds” but had difficulty with the “Friedel–Crafts alkylation,” “oxidation” and “reduction” reactions and with the “bromination of alkenylbenzenes” and the “addition reaction of the double bond of alkenylbenzenes.” Another important finding resulting from this study was that only a few pre-service chemistry teachers were able to identify a new reaction on the SAQs diagram. All of these findings indicate that the pre-service teachers are not very equipped to form meaningful relationships in the context of aromatic compounds, which is one of the basic topics of organic chemistry.

    更新日期:2019-08-28
  • Interactions between the science teaching orientations and components of pedagogical content knowledge of in-service chemistry teachers
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-08-20
    Betul Ekiz-Kiran, Yezdan Boz

    The purpose of this study was to examine the interactions between in-service chemistry teachers’ science teaching orientations and other components of their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Two experienced chemistry teachers participated in this study. Data were collected through interviews, classroom observations, and field notes as the participants taught the mixtures unit. The results indicated that the participants held solid foundation purposes, in which students use science to be successful in their exams or next classes, along with everyday coping and correct explanations purposes. When participants’ correct explanations and solid foundation purposes interacted together with the same PCK component, solid foundation appeared to be the reason for their correct explanations purpose. The teaching strategies that teachers preferred to use interacted with their solid foundation and correct explanations purposes, and the participants altered curricula only if they believed it would lead students to achieve better scores on examinations. Participants’ beliefs about science teaching and learning indicated aspects of teacher-focused beliefs that prevent teachers from focusing on students’ prerequisite knowledge, learning difficulties, and misconceptions. These beliefs interacted with all the sub-components of knowledge of instructional strategies. In addition, there was an interaction between knowledge of curricula and beliefs about science teaching and learning for participants that were more knowledgeable about the curriculum. Moreover, what the teachers assessed was related to their correct explanations and everyday coping beliefs, while the way they assessed was related to their solid foundation beliefs. Last, none of the participants emphasised the aspects of the nature of science during their instruction.

    更新日期:2019-08-20
  • Comparison of student attitudes and performance in an online and a face-to-face inorganic chemistry course
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-08-13
    Hannah T. Nennig, Katrina L. Idárraga, Luke D. Salzer, April Bleske-Rechek, Roslyn M. Theisen

    Despite recent interest in online learning, systematic comparisons of online learning environments with traditional classroom environments are limited, particularly in the sciences. Here, we report on a systematic comparison of an online and face-to-face classroom for a sophomore-level, lecture-only introductory inorganic chemistry course that is designed for students pursuing a chemistry major or minor. The online group consisted of three sections of students enrolled in Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry during two 8 week summer terms and one 4 week winter term. The face-to-face group consisted of two sections of students enrolled in Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry during two 15 week semesters. Both groups of students completed ten common exam questions, and a validated and reliable measure of their attitudes toward chemistry (Attitude toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory Version 2: ASCIv2). Students in the online course and face-to-face course did not differ in their performance on the common exam questions, course grade distribution, or attitudes toward chemistry. Although few studies have compared online and face-to-face learning environments in the physical sciences, our results are consistent with the idea that students who complete an online course fare just as well as those who attend face-to-face classes.

    更新日期:2019-08-20
  • Developing a lesson plan on conventional and green pesticides in chemistry education – a project of participatory action research
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-08-13
    Christian Zowada, Nadja Frerichs, Vânia Gomes Zuin, Ingo Eilks

    The debate on the use of pesticides is very current in the public media when it comes to topics such as organic farming, bee mortality, and the use of glyphosate. The broad range of pesticide applications and their potential environmental impact makes pesticides an interesting topic for science education in general and for chemistry teaching in particular. This is particularly true when conventional pesticide use is contrasted with current chemistry research efforts to develop alternatives based on the ideas of green chemistry. This paper discusses the potential relevance of pesticides for chemistry education in connection with education for sustainable development. It gives a brief outlook on pesticides in science teaching and connects the topic to socio-scientific issue-based chemistry education. A case study which developed a lesson plan for secondary school students is presented here. It defines pesticides, before focusing on the development of green pesticides as potential alternatives to current products. The lesson is focusing learning about chemistry rather than learning of chemistry in the means that the lesson introduces quite young chemistry learners (age range 15–17) to ideas of green and sustainable chemistry and how green alternatives in chemistry can be assessed and compared to traditional alternatives. Video vignettes of a scientist are used to introduce the topic to students. Finally, both glyphosate as a conventional, industrial pesticide and orange oil as an example of a green pesticide are compared using spider chart diagrams. The lesson plan was cyclically designed by a group of ten chemistry teachers using participatory action research. It was piloted with the help of secondary school chemistry student teachers and then tested in five German secondary school classes (grades 10/11). The use of the spider charts was regarded as especially helpful by the learners, most of whom felt that they had been able to understand the controversy surrounding pesticides.

    更新日期:2019-08-13
  • Epistemological problems underlying pre-service chemistry teachers’ aims to use practical work in school science
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-07-29
    Sevinç Nihal Yeşiloğlu, Fitnat Köseoğlu

    The main purpose of this study is to explore the epistemological problems underlying pre-service chemistry teachers’ aims in using practical work, i.e., individual or small group object manipulation or observation, in school science. Twenty-two pre-service chemistry teachers participated in this study. Qualitative data collection tools included participants’ reflections about some practical work cases; participants’ practical work plans; responses given to open-ended questions about practical work, scientific inquiry, the epistemology of science, and science teaching approaches such as discovery and inquiry based learning; and follow-up interviews. Through the qualitative analysis of the data, participants’ aims were grouped under three main themes, which included six categories: providing learning by discovery to students, serving to verify scientific theory, making scientific theories concrete, developing students’ scientific process skills, providing learning about the nature of science, and creating curiosity and motivation towards science. Arguments related to any epistemological problems underlying some of these aims are presented in the Results and discussion section. Based on the results, conclusions were made about the sources of these epistemological problems, why the epistemology of science should be considered explicitly when teaching the science teaching approaches and using the practical work, and why “teaching nature of science implicitly” failed.

    更新日期:2019-08-12
  • How student-centred teaching in quantum chemistry affects students’ experiences of learning and motivation—a self-determination theory perspective
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-07-25
    Lauri Partanen

    This paper represents the second contribution from an action research study on a bachelor-level quantum chemistry and spectroscopy course. In the proposed instructional model, active learning principles are extended outside lectures to form a student-centred course structure. The new model resulted in superior learning outcomes compared to a class where active learning elements were limited to course lectures, as demonstrated by previous research. In this article, I try to understand this improvement through an analysis of student motivation and experiences in the framework of self-determination theory. Based on my analysis of student feedback data and interviews, tasks that facilitated direct interaction with peers or course staff were seen as key factors in enhancing learning and motivation. In addition, the presence of various interconnected course components that supported students at different stages of the learning process was experienced as central to learning. Together, these two publications demonstrate that the incorporation of active learning principles outside lectures can substantially improve both learning and motivation.

    更新日期:2019-08-06
  • Development and validation of an instrument to measure undergraduate chemistry students’ critical thinking skills
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-07-12
    Stephen M. Danczak, Christopher D. Thompson, Tina L. Overton

    The importance of developing and assessing student critical thinking at university can be seen through its inclusion as a graduate attribute for universities and from research highlighting the value employers, educators and students place on demonstrating critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills are seldom explicitly assessed at universities. Commercial critical thinking assessments, which are often generic in context, are available. However, literature suggests that assessments that use a context relevant to the students more accurately reflect their critical thinking skills. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a chemistry critical thinking test (the Danczak–Overton–Thompson Chemistry Critical Thinking Test or DOT test), set in a chemistry context, and designed to be administered to undergraduate chemistry students at any level of study. Development and evaluation occurred over three versions of the DOT test through a variety of quantitative and qualitative reliability and validity testing phases. The studies suggest that the final version of the DOT test has good internal reliability, strong test–retest reliability, moderate convergent validity relative to a commercially available test and is independent of previous academic achievement and university of study. Criterion validity testing revealed that third year students performed statistically significantly better on the DOT test relative to first year students, and postgraduates and academics performed statistically significantly better than third year students. The statistical and qualitative analysis indicates that the DOT test is a suitable instrument for the chemistry education community to use to measure the development of undergraduate chemistry students’ critical thinking skills.

    更新日期:2019-07-12
  • Impact of basic arithmetic skills on success in first-semester general chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-06-25
    Vickie M. Williamson, Deborah Rush Walker, Eric Chuu, Susan Broadway, Blain Mamiya, Cynthia B. Powell, G. Robert Shelton, Rebecca Weber, Alan R. Dabney, Diana Mason

    First-semester general chemistry is a known “gatekeeper” course due to its high failure rate. These higher education courses are taken by students who for the most part are regularly admitted freshmen, yet many struggle to succeed. In this investigation researchers from six higher-education institutions of varied sizes with student bodies of different ethnic composition teamed up to investigate the Math-Up Skills Test (MUST) as a potential tool to identify at-risk students in first-semester general chemistry (Chem I). A large population (N = 1073) was given the MUST at the beginning of the semester. The MUST had good internal consistency with the sample (Cronbach's alpha = 0.856). The MUST offers a quick 15 minute assessment of basic mathematics ability without a calculator. Instructors may find it easier than other documented predictors, which may take more time or involve obtaining student records (e.g., Math SAT). Results from the MUST support prior findings that mathematics skills correlate with course grades in chemistry. Poor arithmetic automaticity may be an underlying factor in lower performance by many students. With statistical modeling, the MUST, along with other demographic variables, was able to identify students who would go on to make a 69.5% or better in Chem I with a high percent of accuracy. The MUST, in tandem with other demographic variables, should be considered a potential tool for early identification of students at-risk for failing the class.

    更新日期:2019-07-05
  • Blended learning in a second year organic chemistry class: students’ perceptions and preferences of the learning support
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-06-24
    Rethabile Tekane, Lynne A. Pilcher, Marietjie Potgieter

    Although the implementation of blended learning in organic chemistry is rapidly growing, thus far, there are few studies published on the evaluation of supplemental types of blend in organic chemistry. This report covers a phenomenographic study that was designed to evaluate a supplemental type of blended learning approach implemented in a second-year organic chemistry course in a South African context. It offers a unique contribution in terms of catering to the needs of a diverse student body. Three open-ended questionnaires were used to probe: (1) students’ perceptions of the learning support; (2) students’ preferences for different types of learning support offered; and (3) students’ suggestions for improvement. Semi-structured individual interviews were used to obtain clarity on some of the responses from the questionnaires. Analysis of students’ responses revealed that the face-to-face component was highly valued as it gave the students the opportunity to ask questions and obtain answers in real time; the online component, especially Learnsmart, was found helpful for its flexibility and providing limitless opportunities to practice or revisit concepts. The discussion board was the least valued due to the overwhelming number of postings, and the students felt they were forced to participate in order to get marks. The students experienced the course as too fast-paced possibly reflecting cognitive overload, a potential weakness of the supplemental blend. The findings will be useful in many other contexts where the student body is diverse in terms of language proficiency and the level of preparation for the demands of organic chemistry as a discipline.

    更新日期:2019-07-05
  • Revisiting the use of concept maps in a large enrollment general chemistry course: implementation and assessment
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-06-25
    Lance E. Talbert, James Bonner, Kiana Mortezaei, Cybill Guregyan, Grace Henbest, Jack F. Eichler

    In an effort to improve student conceptual understanding and help students better connect pre-existing knowledge to new ideas, a concept map assignment was implemented in a first-year college level general chemistry course. This implementation included a quasi-experiment that was carried out in discussion group recitation sections within a third-quarter general chemistry course. Students enrolled in a single section of the course were divided into two groups in which a concept map treatment was compared to a control group that completed short journal entries. Comparison of a concept inventory post-test using an independent samples t-test indicates students in the concept map treatment appear to perform better than the students in the journal control group (t = 2.34, mean difference = 0.844, p < 0.05). However, a multi-variable regression analysis in which the concept inventory post-test scores were compared between the treatment and control groups, while traits related to incoming academic preparation were held constant, suggests there was no significant difference in performance (unstandardized b = 0.222, p = 0.540). The quality of the students’ concept maps was also evaluated and correlated to student performance on the concept inventory, and it appears students who were better at concept mapping made greater gains in conceptual understanding (Pearson's r = 0.295, p < 0.05). When the relationship between the quality of concept mapping and concept inventory post-test was determined while holding constant covariates related to incoming academic preparation, the unstandardized B coefficient was positive, but was not significant at the p = 0.05 level (unstandardized b = 0.215, p = 0.134) This study does not provide unequivocal evidence that a concept map treatment leads to greater gains in conceptual understanding compared to a control population, or that students with better concept mapping skills performed better on the concept inventory instrument. Nevertheless, a template for implementing a concept map assignment in a large enrollment course is provided, and the results presented herein might prompt chemistry instructors to consider including concept map assignments in their instructional toolbox.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • Mapping the conceptual space formed by students’ understanding of coordination number of a transition metal complex: an exploratory study
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-06-20
    Bellam Sreenivasulu, R. Subramaniam

    We report here on an exploratory study done with a sample of university students (N = 140) which sought to explore their understanding of the term ‘coordination number’, a concept encountered in the topic of transition metals chemistry, through a simple open-ended question. The findings show that the conceptual space related to the conceptions students harbour span the interval from non-canonical to canonical limits. That is, the responses from the students include incorrect, partially correct and correct answers. Additionally, instructor commentary, based on teaching experience acquired with a number of cohorts of students, is provided for the range of conceptions encountered, a departure somewhat from the traditional approach, and among the very few, if any, studies, which use such an approach. Those conceptions that are partially correct cannot strictly be labelled as alternative conceptions as it is argued that these can still be used by students to solve problems set in certain contexts on the topic.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • Persistence in studies in relation to learning approaches and first-year grades: a study of university chemistry students in Finland
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-31
    Mika Lastusaari, Eero Laakkonen, Mari Murtonen

    Changing majors or dropping out are of great concern to universities worldwide, but the role of learning approaches in terms of students’ persistence has not been previously studied. Changing majors, especially in chemistry, is a severe problem in Finland. Here, learning approach data were collected with the ChemApproach questionnaire from 733 bachelor-level students at four Finnish universities. Students intending to change majors showed stronger submissive surface approaches and weaker active deep approaches than those intending to persist in chemistry. The ChemApproach data were complemented with information on actual persistence and first-year grades from a smaller sample from one university (N = 177). A practical deep approach in chemistry studies combined with relatively high grades was shown to be connected to persistence, while a desire to change majors combined with high grades resulted in the actual changing of majors. A high submissive surface approach indicated students at risk of dropping out completely.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • Motivational pathways towards academic achievement in physics & chemistry: a comparison between students who opt out and those who persist
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-29
    Diego Ardura, Alberto Pérez-Bitrián

    The main goal of the present investigation was to analyze the effect of motivation towards physics & chemistry on achievement in secondary school students. We focused our interest on the comparison between students who chose the subject when becoming optional in the Spanish educational system and those who opted out. Our analyses uncovered the existence of three different motivational profiles towards achievement in physics & chemistry, depending on the students’ decisions to persist or to leave. Regardless of their choice, self-efficacy played a key role, not only as a direct predictor of academic achievement but also as a facilitator of the indirect effects of other motivational variables on academic performance. However, our models showed that, for students who opt out physics and chemistry, grade motivation and self-determination are more important predictors of performance than for those who choose the subject. Gender effects and educational implications are also addressed.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • Investigating the effect of teacher mediation on student expressed reasoning
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-23
    Patricia Moreira, Ainoa Marzabal, Vicente Talanquer

    Understanding how chemistry teachers' interventions shape the reasoning that students express after a lesson is critical to support prospective and in-service teachers as they work with students' ideas in the classroom. In this qualitative research study, we analysed changes in the reasoning expressed by 10th grade students in a Chilean school in their written explanations about freezing point depression before and after a lesson on the topic. We also investigated how the teacher's interventions shaped the type of reasoning expressed by participating students. Our findings revealed significant shifts in the types of explanations generated after the lesson. A significant number of students transitioned from relational to simple causal reasoning in their pre- and post-lesson explanations. After the lesson most of the explanations were based on the activities of one or more of the system's entities. Analysis of teacher–student interactions during the observed lesson suggests that the teacher's mediation played a central role in the shift towards simple causal reasoning with centralized causality that was observed. The teacher in our study was more skilled at eliciting students' ideas than at helping students develop them with proper scaffolding. Thus, the observed classroom talk could not be considered as accountable talk, as most of the key ideas were introduced, selected, or reshaped by the teacher.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • The impact of students’ educational background, interest in learning, formal reasoning and visualisation abilities on gas context-based exercises achievements with submicro-animations
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-23
    Jerneja Pavlin, Saša A. Glažar, Miha Slapničar, Iztok Devetak

    The purpose of this paper is to explore and explain students’ achievements in solving context-based gas exercises comprising the macroscopic and submicroscopic levels of chemical concepts. The influence of specific variables, such as interest in learning, formal-reasoning abilities, and visualisation abilities, is a significant factor that should be considered when explaining students’ achievements with context-based exercises. Seventy-nine students of three age groups (12, 16, and 23) participated in the study. Questionnaires, tests, and a semi-structured interview including computer-displayed context-based exercises were used to collect data. In addition, an eye-tracker was used to determine the exact location of the participants’ points of gaze. The results show that students on average answered correctly from 40 to 79% of all questions in the context-based exercises. The context-based exercise related to air compression is indicated as being difficult for students. In students’ explanations of different levels of chemical concepts, representation difficulties are detected in all three age groups of students. Students’ achievements in solving context-based gas exercises do not depend on interest in learning chemistry and visualisation abilities. However, statistically significant differences exist in total fixation duration on the correct submicrorepresentation animation between students with different formal-reasoning abilities. The results serve as a starting point for the planning of different context-based exercises and problems comprising the chemistry triplet with 3D dynamic submicrorepresentations.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • An explanative basis for the differential performance of students with low math aptitude in general chemistry
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-23
    Vanessa R. Ralph, Scott E. Lewis

    Students who score within the bottom quartile on cognitive measures of math aptitude have been identified as at-risk for low performance in chemistry courses, with less attention as to why such differential performance persists. At-risk students struggle most differentially on assessment items related to the mole concept and stoichiometry. An exploration as to the nature of the differential performance observed became of great interest as the assessment of these topics rarely progresses beyond multiplication or division, and at-risk students who achieved proficiency with the mole concept and stoichiometry had no noticeable gaps in academic chemistry performance when compared to students scoring in the top three quartiles of math aptitude. Thus, students in first-semester general chemistry were surveyed to describe their solution processes toward assessment items involving the mole concept and stoichiometry. Three hundred and forty-eight students responded to all survey prompts with 101 identified as at-risk. Findings suggest that while all students were observed to struggle in the conceptualization of the algorithms by which they execute solution processes, not-at-risk chemistry students were more likely to achieve correct answers via chemically implausible solution pathways. Rather than suggest the removal of assessment practices involving algorithmic, multiple-choice assessment on these topics, the implications include practical suggestions and opportunities for further research toward improving the equitability of measures used to assess proficiency with stoichiometry.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • Identifying the challenging characteristics of systems thinking encountered by undergraduate students in chemistry problem-solving of gas laws
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-05-11
    Ya-Chun Chen, Kimberley Wilson, Huann-shyang Lin

    Systems thinking has been an educational priority for more than a decade, yet its related assessment and teaching strategies have been understudied in the chemistry education research community. Through the lens of systems thinking, this study explores how undergraduate students connect and translate their conceptual representations when they are involved in contextualised problem-solving. The ‘Contextualised Problem Solving’ (CPS) assessment instrument contains four open-ended questions about gas law. Three different cohorts of students registered in a physical science course (2016 Fall, 2017 Spring, 2017 Fall semesters) participated in the problem-solving component of CPS. The results showed that only 8% of students were capable of higher order systems thinking ability when they engaged in problem solving. Over half of the students failed to retrieve essential concepts in problem situations. Most of the participants demonstrated difficulties in organising related systems’ components, understanding the cyclic nature of relationships among systems, and identifying limitations in a specific problem context. By identifying the difficulties and challenges of systems thinking experienced by undergraduate students in solving complex chemistry problems, these findings have the potential to provide fresh insights into effective teaching strategies to promote students’ higher order thinking skills.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • Effect of practicum courses on pre-service teachers’ beliefs towards chemistry teaching: a year-long case study
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-04-29
    Yezdan Boz, Betul Ekiz-Kiran, Elif Selcan Kutucu

    In this study, we examined the effect of School Experience (SE) and Practice Teaching (PT) courses on pre-service chemistry teachers’ beliefs towards chemistry teaching over a one-year period. To reach this purpose, participants’ beliefs and experiences towards chemistry teaching were monitored closely throughout the varied phases of the two practicum courses. Two pre-service chemistry teachers participated in the study. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews, observation notes, CoRes and reflection papers. Semi-structured interviews focusing on the pre-service teachers’ beliefs regarding chemistry teaching were conducted three times while participating in the SE and PT courses. During the PT course before their teaching experiences the participants prepared CoRes, and after their experiences they critiqued their own performances. Moreover, the participants were observed during their student-teaching experiences to identify how they transfer their beliefs into their teaching. Data were analyzed via inductive analyses. Results indicated that both pre-service teachers had stable core beliefs derived from their own experiences as students that remained constant during these courses and guided their practical instruction. Although both participants attended the same courses during the teacher education program, their attitudes while taking the educational courses were different. Factors that shaped pre-service teachers’ beliefs towards teaching were presented as the practicum courses enriched with CoRes and reflection papers, observing their mentors, experiences gained from microteaching sessions, and pedagogical and methods courses taken during the pre-service teacher education program. Implications for the formation of pre-service teachers’ beliefs towards teaching throughout pre-service teacher education programs were provided.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of Integrated STEM-lab activities in improving secondary school students’ understanding of electrolysis
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-04-24
    Noor Haslina Daman Huri, Mageswary Karpudewan

    STEM education is gaining increasing attention globally to fulfill the acute shortage of STEM workforce. Executing STEM education is frequently viewed as a complex and challenging agenda. The current study proposes Integrated STEM-lab activities in the teaching and learning of electrolysis. The activities use real-world contexts as a platform to exhibit the transdisciplinary nature of integration of the four STEM disciplines. Embedded mixed methods research used quantitative one group pre-test–post-test design, and qualitative interviews were employed to measure the effectiveness of the Integrated STEM-lab activities in improving 50 secondary school students’ (Form Four equivalent to Grade 9) understanding of electrolysis. The Electrolysis Diagnostics Instrument was administered for pre- and post-tests. One-way Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) revealed that the Integrated STEM-lab activities effectively improved the students’ understanding of electrolysis measured in three subscales (Wilks’ lambda = 0.664;F(3,96) = 16.164; p < 0.05; η = 0.336) with 33.6% of the variances in the pre- and post-tests explained by the treatment. The qualitative interview data supported and provided insight into understanding the quantitative findings. In the interviews, the students elaborated their understanding of electrolysis with details, and consistently the activities were referred to in their responses. The findings of this study suggest that Integrated-STEM lab activities are suitable to address the limitation of the existing laboratory activities for knowledge construction. The activities are exemplary for integrating the four STEM disciplines into the standard science curriculum.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
  • Designing play-based learning chemistry activities in the preschool environment
    Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. (IF 2.285) Pub Date : 2019-04-17
    Karina Adbo, Clara Vidal Carulla

    This study focuses on the design of play-based learning activities for chemistry in preschool. Viewing chemistry as a part of our past and present culture instead of as a subject, provides the backdrop for a more holistic approach to chemistry within this specific environment. A cultural-historical perspective, together with scaffolding, emergent science skills and sustained shared thinking, made up the framework for the design of the learning activities. Results show that when scaffolding and emergent science skills are used within the design, they provide good support for both the content and the teacher in the actual learning situation. Working with scaffolding was also beneficial for professional development. However, for a progressive and inclusive activity design, it is essential to take into account aspects of the immediate environment and methods for direct evaluation.

    更新日期:2019-07-03
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