P642: “I’ve seen this before;” The role of recognition in undergraduate-level organic chemistry problem solving

Author: Benjamin R. Van Norman, University of South Florida, USA

Co-Author: Marcy H. Towns, Purdue University, USA; Jeffrey R. Raker, University of South Florida, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

Problem-solving skills are a key learning outcome of undergraduate chemistry curricula. In this investigation, undergraduate student approaches to solving both classroom and authentic-based problems were explored. Through open coding analysis, it was determined that recognition played a key role in student ability to successfully solve the problem and student reported level of problem difficulty. Implications for organic chemistry instruction as well as development of chemistry-related problem-solving skills will be presented.

P24: Predicting the products and mechanisms of the glycolysis process: An exploratory study of the impact of prior knowledge on student performance in biochemistry

Author: Benjamin R. Van Norman, University of South Florida, USA

Co-Author: Jeffrey R. Raker, University of South Florida, USA

Date: 8/3/14

Time: 2:45 PM3:05 PM

Room: HON 148

Related Symposium: S4

Prior knowledge has been shown to have an impact on future learning. In chemistry, this perspective is formalized in the prerequisite course system; for example, the general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry course sequence where each preceding course must be passed to take the next course in the series. In this exploratory study, the impact of organic chemistry knowledge on understanding of biochemical reactions was investigated. Specifically, undergraduate students, who had recently completed a year-long course in organic chemistry, were asked to predict the products or reaction mechanisms for the individual reactions of the glycolysis process. Preliminary results of this study and potential avenues for future research will be presented.