P594: Automated analysis of students’ constructed explanations in chemistry

Author: Jana Olwine, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author: Leah M. Corley, Melanie M. Cooper, Kevin Haudek, Mark Urban-Lurain, Michigan State University, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 2:05 PM2:25 PM

Room: MAK A1111

Related Symposium: S45

The Automated Assessment of Constructed Response project (AACR) uses clustering and data modeling techniques to aid in the evaluation of student written responses. Text analysis is accomplished using IBM SPSS Modeler, which is capable of identifying important concepts in student text responses. These responses are then placed into categories and can then be used as variables in cluster analysis to identify students with similar responses to a question prompt. We used AACR to help us investigate students’ ideas about chemistry topics such as intermolecular forces and acids and bases as part of a larger study on how students develop the ability to determine chemical and physical properties from a molecular structure. Preliminary findings will be presented regarding the use of both automated analysis and human coding to explore students’ ideas about intermolecular forces and acid-base chemistry.

P598: Investigating student understanding of structure-property relationships and the role of intermolecular forces: Part 1

Author: Leah Corley, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 3:40 PM4:00 PM

Room: MAK A1111

Related Symposium: S45

The connection between a compound’s molecular structure and its macroscopic properties is a core idea in chemistry. Prior research has shown, however, that students have difficulties making this connection. This is not particularly surprising considering all of the information students must connect in order to predict various properties. Understanding the types and strengths of intermolecular forces (IMFs) present is an important step in considering properties such as relative boiling or melting point for various molecular compounds. To explore student understanding of both the relationship between structure and properties as well as their understanding of intermolecular forces we conducted semi-structured interviews with general chemistry and organic chemistry students. In these interviews, we asked students to predict properties about a given compound, construct a structural representation, and then asked them if there was a way to predict the properties they mentioned previously from the structure they drew. In addition, in order to probe student understanding of IMFs, we administered an IMFs assessment to a larger population of students. The IMFs assessment required students to both describe their understanding of the terms hydrogen bonding, dipole-dipole, and London dispersion forces as well as construct representations for each of them. Here I will present results from both the interviews as well as the IMFs assessment.