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.

P504: Using survival analysis to investigate how students’ ideas about structure and property relationships evolve during the first two years of college chemistry courses

Author: Sonia M. Underwood, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author: Melanie M. Cooper and David Reyes-Gastelum, Michigan State University, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 11:30 AM11:50 AM

Room: MAK A1111

Related Symposium: S45

Longitudinal studies can provide significant insight into how students develop competence in a topic or subject area over time. However, many aspects of longitudinal studies can become problematic such as retention of students in the study, financial abilities to continue the project, and difficulty with the data analysis process. To address the concern of data analysis, we chose to use a discrete-time survival analysis to investigate how students ideas about the connection between the molecular-level structure of a substance and its macroscopic properties develop over the first two years of introductory college chemistry. To evaluate students’ ideas about this connection, we have administered the Implicit Information from Lewis Structures Instrument (IILSI) to capture the types of information students believe can be predicted using a Lewis structure. This instrument was administered five times over a two-year period (i.e. two semesters of general chemistry and two semesters of organic chemistry. In addition, it was administered to three different cohorts of students to see if the results could be replicated with two subsequent years of students. A description of discrete-time survival analysis along with the results from this study will be presented.

P319: Using evidence-centered design to develop assessments for chemistry

Author: Melanie M. Cooper, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 4:20 PM4:40 PM

Room: LOH 164

Related Symposium: S25

We can never really know what students understand since we can’t get inside their heads. Instead we have to rely on formative and summative assessments that, if well designed, can at least provide some insights into student learning. Unfortunately, many of the assessments in current use are not really designed to allow us to investigate what students know and can do. Instead, they target factual recall and exercises that can be solved by formula manipulations. As we move to more computer-based testing this tendency becomes even more pronounced, as each assessment item targets a small piece of knowledge or skill. In our group we are now using evidence-centered design to help us develop assessments that are better focused on what we believe to be important and that are more likely to provide the instructor and the learner with useful information that can be used to help students improve. This presentation will provide an overview of evidence-centered design and its use to develop assessments that are administered on our online platform beSocratic.

P261: Investigating students’ understanding of electromagnetic radiation and its interaction with matter

Author: Christopher J. Minter, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author: Nicole M. Becker and Melanie M. Cooper, Michigan State University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 4:00 PM4:40 PM

Room: HON 148

Related Symposium: S4

Energy is an important cross-cutting concept throughout STEM disciplines. Within undergraduate chemistry courses, energy is generally taught from three perspectives: the macroscopic, the atomic-molecular, and the quantum-mechanical. However, these approaches are often taught in isolation – leaving students with a fragmented knowledge of energy concepts. Through “Chemistry, Life, the Universe, and Everything” (CLUE), a new general chemistry curriculum, we aim to emphasize the interconnectedness between these approaches to energy in order to help students gain a deeper conceptual understanding of energy. Here we present preliminary findings from a qualitative study, consisting of semi-structured interviews and open-ended assessments, aimed at eliciting students’ understanding of electromagnetic radiation and its interactions with molecules. Application of this work will be discussed in the context of how it informs our evidence-based learning progression of energy within the CLUE curriculum.

P126: Exploring students’ understanding of energy to inform an evidence-based learning progression for energy

Author: Oscar H. Judd, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author: Nicole M. Becker and Melanie M. Cooper, Michigan State University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 10:15 AM10:35 AM

Room: HON 148

Related Symposium: S4

Understanding the role of energy in chemical systems is critical to understanding chemical phenomena. However, research has shown that energy concepts are difficult for students, even at college-level. In order to support students’ understanding of energy in chemical systems, our current work seeks to refine a learning progression for energy in the context of a reformed undergraduate general chemistry curriculum, Chemistry, Life, the Universe and Everything (CLUE). We conducted semi-structured interviews, in order to investigate students’ understandings of energy changes in the context of simple atomic-molecular systems. Here we present a case study analysis of the successes and challenges encountered by students from both CLUE and traditional chemistry courses and we compare findings from the interviews with findings from an analysis of student responses to open-ended formative assessments administered during the CLUE class. Implications for assessment design and teaching are discussed.

P22: Exploring student understanding of mechanistic arrows

Author: Kathryn P. Kohn, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author: Sonia M. Underwood and Melanie M. Cooper, Michigan State University, USA

Date: 8/3/14

Time: 2:05 PM2:25 PM

Room: HON 148

Related Symposium: S4

The concept of mechanisms in organic chemistry is difficult and all too often is bypassed by students who instead focus on memorization to “learn” the extensive sets of reactions introduced. The basis of mechanism drawing, the electron-pushing formalism, requires students to identify the source and direction of electron flow in a reaction, and then further associate this use of arrows with the breaking and forming of bonds. Using beSocratic, a web-based system that allows students to respond to open-ended questions by drawing and writing, we asked students to construct mechanisms which were then replayed for analysis. This presentation will discuss how we use the program beSocratic to record and analyze student free-form input and include preliminary results of a new study on how students construct mechanisms.