P63: Evaluating physical chemistry teaching methods using an original quantum chemistry concept inventory

Author: Marilu Dick-Perez, Iowa State University, USA

Co-Author: Cynthia J. Luxford, Theresa L. Windus and Thomas Holme, Iowa State University, USA

Date: 8/3/14

Time: 2:25 PM2:45 PM

Room: LOH 164

Related Symposium: S10

Identifying common misconceptions among students is important for determining the effect of teaching interventions and non-traditional teaching methods on the learning and retention of quantum chemistry. We present a quantum chemistry concept inventory, QCCI, as a tool to assess misconceptions and compare teaching methods. The QCCI contains a limited number of multiple choice items based on previously published misconceptions and typical content covered in undergraduate quantum chemistry classes. A concurrent study examines the QCCI’s ability to measure the effect of in-class exercises. In-class exercises were developed that focus on peer interactions and the use of computer-based simulations. By administering the QCCI at the beginning and end of the semester we expect to determine whether there are learning gains resulting from the in-class exercises. Preliminary results from a pilot study suggest that the items in the inventory successfully probe common misconceptions and may be used to determine if the administered in-class exercises benefitted students. Widespread use of the QCCI can eventually be used for evaluating teaching methods and interventions used in undergraduate quantum chemistry courses.