P965: Using high-quality calculations to help students visualize chemical principles

Author: Jay S. Shore, South Dakota State University, USA


Date: 8/7/14

Time: 11:30 AM11:50 AM

Room: LMH 176

Related Symposium: S55

With increased access to computer clusters with a range of computational software, more types of high-quality calculations related to chemical principles are possible. With open-source software, these calculations can be turned in to high-resolution movies or interactive jmol-based webpages. This process of making visualizations has been automated using scripts, resulting in a large number of movies and jmol webpages, with every part of the visualization accurately represented, including energy level diagrams drawn to scale. Visualizations based on inaccurate calculations may unintentionally mislead students and result in them developing misconceptions about basic chemical concepts. Examples of commonly used visualizations that lead to unintended chemical misunderstandings and of not so commonly used visualizations created using high quality calculations will be presented. Some of the movies can be viewed at http://youtube.com/JaySShore.

P454: One software package to create and evaluate assessment instruments for general chemistry

Author: Jay S. Shore, South Dakota State University, USA


Date: 8/5/14

Time: 9:55 AM10:15 AM

Room: MAK A1151

Related Symposium: S38

The large enrollment general chemistry courses that many universities offer because of their inherent efficiency, can provide an abundance of chemical education data. To acquire this data, a software package was developed that creates algorithmically generated questions, randomly distributes these questions to different forms of an assessment instrument, automatically generates answer keys for each form, compares student responses to correct answers, evaluates the statistics of the student responses, determines question difficulty, characterizes the discriminating value of the questions, and determines what concepts each student has demonstrated mastery of. The software can be used to track student performance, individually or aggregated, over different assessment instruments to reveal correlations that may lead to a better understanding of student abilities and difficulties and of the value of the pedagogical techniques being used.