P938: Understanding student responses on surveys

Author: Maria Schroeder, U.S. Naval Academy, USA

Co-Author: Shirley Lin,Debra Dillner and Judith Ann Hartman, U.S. Naval Academy, USA; Diane M. Bunce, Catholic University, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

Written surveys are often a convenient and efficient way of gathering data on student perceptions or choices. Although surveys seem straightforward and objective, interpretation of what is meant by survey questions can differ between the survey writer and the survey taker. Even when interpretation is consistent across these two entities, much richer information is often supplied by the survey taker in a one-on-one interview situation. During the Fall 2012 semester, a subset of freshmen enrolled in the first semester of general chemistry at the US Naval Academy were interviewed regarding their answers on a written survey asking them about the resources they used to study for both instructor-written and multiple choice common exams. Student responses were audio taped and analyzed using NVIVO software to search for insights in what students chose and why they chose it. This qualitative data was analyzed according to whether the resource chosen led to deeper understanding of the topic or provided a quick answer to a question. Differences in study methods chosen for instructor-written exams vs. multiple-choice common exams were investigated. This poster will provide an analysis of the study methods chosen and why they were chosen by a subset of students enrolled in a large general chemistry course where success is expected and study time is limited.

P821: Global curriculum changes that facilitate undergraduate research experiences

Author: Maria J. Schroeder, US Naval Academy, USA

Co-Author: Debra K. Dillner, Robert F. Ferrante and Jeffrey P. Fitzgerald, US Naval Academy, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 4:00 PM4:20 PM

Room: LMH 114

Related Symposium: S51

A novel chemistry curriculum was developed and implemented at the U.S. Naval Academy to meet recent American Chemical Society (ACS) program requirements, introduce more student choice in the curriculum, and provide a research experience for every chemistry major. A complete redesign of our laboratory program resulted in reducing 11 credit hours of traditional laboratory courses into a cohesive, 8-credit, 4-semester sequence of integrated laboratory courses covering the core subdisciplines of chemistry. These courses were designed along broader themes with many experiments simultaneously exploring concepts from two or more areas of chemistry. Slimming of the core laboratory curriculum and completing it by the end of junior year facilitated the inclusion of a research or capstone experience for all of our chemistry majors during their senior year. These global curricular changes required significant effort and cooperation, and the acceptance of undergraduate research as a culminating experience worthy of faculty and administrative support. However, we have felt it worth the effort as our number of majors has increased, students seem dramatically more satisfied with the major, interactions between students and faculty have improved, and research productivity has been enhanced. In this presentation, we share our experiences and advice in hopes that these might benefit other institutions contemplating more widespread involvement of their undergraduates in a research experience.

P655: Investigating the relationship between study resource chosen and student achievement in general chemistry

Author: Regis Komperda, Catholic University of America, USA

Co-Author: Ashlie Wrenne and Diane M. Bunce, Catholic University, USA; Maria Schroeder, US Naval Academy, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

Students choose the study resource that seems the most appropriate to them. They make this decision based upon their estimate of the effectiveness and efficiency of the resource. When students are under a study time constraint, these criteria may become even more important in students’ decision on what and how to study. During the Fall 2012 semester, a study was conducted to look at the range and effectiveness of the primary study methods chosen by students enrolled in a general chemistry course at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. At the Naval Academy, all 1015 students in the plebe freshman class take general chemistry. One textbook is used by 29 different instructors and all instructors follow a common daily syllabus. Students take both instructor-written and multiple choice common exams. We surveyed the plebes several times during their first semester of general chemistry asking which of the available resources they used to study for both types of exams and which was their primary method of studying. This poster will examine the data about the differences in study resource chosen for these two types of exams by students of differing grades in the course and the effectiveness of student choices on achievement when study time is limited and efficiency is an important variable.

P384: Do students retain knowledge when taking large scale multiple choice common exams?

Author: Shirley Lin, U. S. Naval Academy, USA

Co-Author: Maria Schroeder, Debra Dillner, Judith Ann Hartman, U.S. Naval Academy, USA; Diane M. Bunce, Catholic University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 6:00 PM7:15 PM

Room: KC

Related Symposium: S33

All plebes (first-year students) take the same general chemistry course at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. The course taught by 29 different instructors uses the same textbook, follows a common daily syllabus and includes two multiple choice common exams at 6 weeks and 12 weeks during the semester in addition to a multiple choice common final exam. Instructors are encouraged to develop and administer their own instructor-written tests and quizzes in-between the common exams. These instructor-written tests and quizzes can take any format (open-ended or multiple choice) and can be administered on a schedule determined by the instructor. A discussion regarding whether the multiple-choice common exams measure memorization or knowledge is common. Research suggests that learning which is memorized often decays within 2 days if it is not deemed by the learner to be important. This poster will report on an experiment where students were administered a subset of questions from the common exams within 48 to 72 hours after completing the common exam. An analysis was performed to investigate whether students who answered the question correctly on the initial common exam could still answer it correctly 2-3 days later indicating that they learned the material beyond simple memorization. This trend was also investigated for highly successful (A and B), average (C), and unsuccessful (D and F) students.