P721: Lessons learned from being the lone ChemEder in a traditional department of chemistry

Author: Diana Mason, University of North Texas, USA


Date: 8/6/14

Time: 11:50 AM12:10 PM

Room: MAK A1111

Related Symposium: S52

My first clue that this department of chemistry might be different was when I received the highest award on campus for my community service activities and the department ranked me in Group 2 of 3 on my annual evaluation. Hmmmm. OK-maybe I can do better-I’ll use my own classes to evaluate the introduction of e-homework and if students’ success improves, then I’ll present the data and all will be well. On a delayed post-test given the following semester, my students on-the-average outperformed all the other classes that had not experience e-homework. OK-now, I’ll live up to the department’s expectation of hiring a ChemEd specialist. Wrong, again! Hmmmm. Teaching and service are not living up to expectation, so let’s try research. OK-I’ll present my data that I’ve gathered on e-homework to national and international audiences and I’ll get grants. Hmmmm-I presented and I got grants, but it was the wrong type of money! Hmmmm-Retirement looks good. Oops-the department voted on me to be honored as Professor Emeritus. Hmmmm-maybe I was doing a better job than I thought! Advice: Keep doing what you do and do the best job you can! More take notice and seek your advice than you know.

P464: Profiling Texas vodka: Laboratory and field experiences

Author: Anna George, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, USA

Co-Author: Timothy Stephens, Robyn Ford and Diana Mason, University of North Texas, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 11:30 AM11:50 AM

Room: MAK B2110

Related Symposium: S39

The origin of what is known today as vodka is probably from ca. 9th century Russia where grains, potatoes, and fruits were distilled. It is commonly known that Mendeleev funded his lab by selling Russian standardized vodka. The more popular commercial solutions generally associated with Texas are Crazy Water, Dr Pepper, Big Red, Lone Star Beer, Shiner Beer, and wines from some 200+ wineries, but there is a growing interest in alcoholic spirits, particularly vodka. In 2012 Texas had 6 known vodkas; there are now 20 and counting! This study explores solutions of 40% ethanol and 60% water and attempts to discern from data collected if there are differences in various commercial products labeled as Texas vodka (water from Texas and/or plant matter from Texas). Presented are data characterizing the flavor profiles, conductivity, pH, and metal ion content of each. In addition to the organic material mentioned above, Texas vodka also includes distillates from cactus and black-eyed peas, but what are the chemical differences in these solutions?

P435: Decision time: Do we require commercial e-homework or not?

Author: Diana Mason, University of North Texas, USA


Date: 8/5/14

Time: 9:55 AM10:15 AM

Room: ASH 2302

Related Symposium: S23

Much needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on which e-homework system to use or whether or not to use any commercial system. In this case study 753 students were evaluated as to their performance when experiencing ALEKS, OWL, or Sapling as part of their overall grade in first-semester general chemistry. Only students who completed the course were included: ALEKS: n = 254, OWL: n = 204, and Sapling: n = 295. Withdrawals (18.6%), no e-homework attempted (0.5%), and exemptions (4.4%) were omitted from evaluation. Only about a third of the students successfully completed the desired mastery level of 90% or more, but almost as many students were successful on the final exam as those who did not achieve mastery. About 50% of the overall population who failed to master the e-homework were also unsuccessful (grades of D, F) on the final exam. Results indicate that students who experienced the commercial homework systems have less knowledge decay than students who did not have this experience and have greater success on delayed post-tests than those who did not achieve mastery. Difference in male and female performance was minimal. Sixteen percent of students’ course grades were changed by a letter when the e-homework scores were entered into the calculations of final averages. Not all learning is best achieved in an electronically mediated environment, but providing students with this opportunity exhibits more benefits than detriments and is encouraged. Students are more positive than negative about the continued use of e-homework.

P260: Use of online computer programs to measure student success in high school chemistry

Author: Robyn L. Ford, University of North Texas, USA

Co-Author: Diana Mason, University of North Texas, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 3:40 PM4:20 PM

Room: HON 148

Related Symposium: S4

Secondary schools of the 21st century have been faced with many issues regarding the preparation of students for future careers. High stakes testing, college and career readiness, and fast advancing technology have played key roles in the development of curriculum and programs for these schools and their stakeholders. What type of material will increase student achievement the most has been the number one and at the same time the most difficult question to answer when selecting materials and/or programs to facilitate student success. Do students need more content or more problem solving skills? A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of chemistry content online drill versus web-based brain training on first year chemistry student achievement at the high school level. This study compares two computer programs: Sapling Learning (content online drill) and Lumosity (brain training which includes logic spatial training). The progress of a group of high school, Pre-AP chemistry students was monitored over a twelve (12) week period. The student progress was measured using two pre/post instruments: Group Assessment of Logical Thinking (GALT) and the California Chemistry Diagnostic Exam (CADx) to measure content attainment. The results of the effectiveness of these two programs on this group of students will be discussed.