Session S39a (Tuesday, 9:30am, Thomas 117)

P376: Student misconceptions in stoichiometry and thermochemistry

Tanya Gupta, Tom Greenbowe (Iowa State University, USA)

First year general chemistry instruction emphasizes an understanding of stoichiometry and the process of energy transfer. What are some of the gaps in student understanding of stoichiometry? How do these gaps get carried forward in other topics of general chemistry like thermochemistry? A mixed-methods study was conducted at a Midwestern university to identify some gaps in student understanding of these two topics in general chemistry and to generate a list of misconceptions. Semi-structured student interviews were conducted using a think-aloud interview protocol. In addition quantitative data from student hour exams and laboratory practical exams were analyzed for student responses on specific problems in stoichiometry and thermochemistry. In this presentation a detailed analysis of student misconceptions on the topics of stoichiometry and thermochemistry will be presented along with some key recommendations for the development of concept inventories.


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