P953: Student expectations about organic chemistry (and, yes, they think it’s scary)

Author: Sarah Burroughs Zingales, Armstrong Atlantic State University, USA


Date: 8/7/14

Time: 9:35 AM9:55 AM

Room: ASH 2302

Related Symposium: S23

The purpose of this ongoing study is to investigate the preconceptions of organic chemistry students about the Organic Chemistry I course and to analyze how those conceptions change over the course of the semester. On the first day of class, students are asked to fill out a short survey (Pre-survey). After the first exam, students are asked to fill out another short survey (Post-exam 1 survey). After completion of the course, students are asked to fill out the final short survey (Post-survey). The results and responses of these anonymous surveys are compiled and compared. The students’ expected grades (as a group) are compared to the actual course grades they received. If time allows, and there are willing participants, post-course interviews are conducted. Initial results indicate that most students are scared of organic chemistry and believe 1) that it is a difficult course; 2) that they do not need to study much more than they did for general chemistry; and 3) that they will get As anyway.

P580: Pop culture in GOB chemistry [WITHDRAWN]

Author: Sarah Burroughs Zingales, Armstrong Atlantic State University, USA


Date: 8/5/14

Time: 4:20 PM4:40 PM

Room: LOH 164

Related Symposium: S41

Many GOB students don’t see the relevance of chemistry in their day-to-day lives. In order to engage students and to help them see that chemistry is important to their lives and is, in fact, all around them, the second semester course in the GOB sequence was approached in a different fashion. Various cases were created from popular television shows, mass media, and pop culture in order to give the students an interest in learning chemistry concepts. Students were challenged to solve problems, diagnose patients, translate scientific terms into language a layman could understand, assess severity and seriousness of claims, apply ethics to science, and think outside of the box. Students also gained experience in working alone and in groups. This paper presents the novel case studies and laboratory exercises written for the course, the data gathered during the course of our investigations, student assessments of the course, and further direction for course improvement.