Date: August 2009
Creator: Mewhinney, Christina
Description: A study was conducted to investigate the relationship of students' concept integration and achievement with time spent within a topic and across related topics in a large first semester guided inquiry organic chemistry class. Achievement was based on evidence of algorithmic problem solving; and concept integration was based on demonstrated performance explaining, applying, and relating concepts to each other. Twelve individual assessments were made of both variables over three related topics - acid/base, nucleophilic substitution and electrophilic addition reactions. Measurements included written, free response and ordered multiple answer questions using a classroom response system. Results demonstrated that students can solve problems without conceptual understanding. A second study was conducted to compare the students' learning approach at the beginning and end of the course. Students were scored on their preferences for a deep, strategic, or surface approach to learning based on their responses to a pre and post survey. Results suggest that students significantly decreased their preference for a surface approach during the semester. Analysis of the data collected was performed to determine the relationship between students' learning approach and their concept integration and achievement in this class. Results show a correlation between a deep approach and concept integration and a ...
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