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.

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.