Session S35 (Monday, 2pm, Life Sciences 013)

P298: How students' working knowledge of general chemistry concepts map onto their success in organic chemistry

Victor Kiryak, Jack Barbera (University of Northern Colorado, USA)

This study addresses the curricular misbalances between General (GC) and Organic Chemistry (OC) courses in addition to the development of an assessment instrument. The purpose of this study is to develop and test an instrument to assess how student’s working knowledge of some GC concepts map onto their success in an OC course. This presentation will address the first two phases of the study. First, a qualitative exploration of the GC concepts that map onto OC course content. This phase includes instructors’ cognitive expectations towards their students in the GC or OC courses. This qualitative study uncovers misbalances on several concepts deemed important for both courses. Results from expert interviews were utilized to develop open-ended questions regarding the important concepts. For the second phase, preliminary data on developed items, collected based on think-aloud interviews with second-semester general chemistry students, will be also presented.


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