Allowing Students to Have VOICES [Voluntary Options in Chemical Education Schedules] in General Chemistry I
Description: The purpose of this investigation (a quasi-experimental design called a non-equivalent design group (NEDG)) was to determine if allowing students in a science majors general Chemistry I course the choice in establishing the due dates that their homework was due to the instructor would improve course averages. This study covered two semesters with a total of 288 students participating with n = 158 in the fall and n = 130 in the spring. The students self-selected the homework group, VOICES, that best fit his/her needs which included (1) the instructor's homework schedule, (2) a student-customized schedule or a schedule that followed the exam schedule, or (3) all homework due by the last class day prior to the final exam. Online homework was assigned and graded with individual assignment and homework average grades collected and analyzed. No statistically significant differences were found among the VOICES groups with respect to final course average. Other results of this study replicated findings in the literature; namely, that there is a higher correlation between mathematics skills and course success. Course averages of students who had completed Calculus I or higher were statistically significantly higher than students with less completed mathematics coursework in all VOICES groups. Also, the percentage of successful students in the on-sequence semester (fall) was higher than the percentage of students in the off-sequence semester (spring). No differences were seen in any VOICES group's student demographics or high school chemistry preparation.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Ford, Robyn Lynn