P381: Measuring students’ mental storage of chemistry information: A novel approach
Choosing how to assess student understanding of chemistry concepts is an important part of chemistry education research. The study presented in this poster tested a novel approach, the graph theoretic technique, which measures students’ chemistry knowledge. Pathfinder, a computer program that uses this technique, was evaluated to determine whether the program provides information about student understanding beyond that gained from traditional methods such as multiple choice questions. The students were asked to perform a pathfinder task on a topic before attending a lecture on the topic and then again after the lecture to determine if Pathfinder was sensitive enough to detect changes in student understanding of that topic. Results from a year-long study on the use of Pathfinder will be presented along with implications for future studies.