Session S68a (Wednesday, 9:30am, Wartik 105)

P735: Key issues in designing a preparatory chemistry course: Theory and practice

Mark Cracolice (University of Montana, USA)

The relatively high rate of lack of student success in completing the general chemistry sequence is well known to college chemistry faculty. Accordingly, many institutions have developed a preparation for general chemistry course designed to set up students to succeed in the subsequent first-term general chemistry course. In this presentation, we will look at the theoretical reasons that explain why some students are not prepared for general chemistry, with a focus on what cognitive science theory tells us about the nature of the learner. After examining the factors that prevent some students from understanding fundamental chemical principles, we will consider the challenge of creating a one-term preparatory chemistry course curriculum that can address and remedy the lack of the appropriate prerequisite set of scientific reasoning skills that is a characteristic of a significant fraction of college students.

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