World Journal of Chemical Education
ISSN (Print): 2375-1665 ISSN (Online): 2375-1657 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/wjce Editor-in-chief: Prof. V. Jagannadham
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World Journal of Chemical Education. 2021, 9(2), 46-49
DOI: 10.12691/wjce-9-2-2
Open AccessArticle

Student Success in Five Concepts: A Six-Year Study in an Introductory Chemistry Course for Non-Science Majors

Kefa K. Onchoke1, and Emily E. Dowdy1

1Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Stephen F. Austin State University, Box 13006 - SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX, 75962-3006, USA

Pub. Date: May 07, 2021

Cite this paper:
Kefa K. Onchoke and Emily E. Dowdy. Student Success in Five Concepts: A Six-Year Study in an Introductory Chemistry Course for Non-Science Majors. World Journal of Chemical Education. 2021; 9(2):46-49. doi: 10.12691/wjce-9-2-2

Abstract

Introductory chemistry courses are normally designed for different students in colleges and universities. In many cases the Introductory Chemistry course is offered to students to satisfy a general science prerequisite and in other courses. At Stephen F. Austin State University, the Introductory Chemistry Course is taken by a majority of students who are declared nursing majors. This study examined the performance of student scores in five concepts in an Introductory Chemistry course. The data compares student performance for five randomly chosen concepts, namely; significant figures, reactivity of isotopes, half-lifes, electron configuration of ions, and equilibria. Standardized exams were used to assess and evaluate performance and trends of students (N = 841) in the five concepts for the academic years 2012 – 2018. Except for the “Equilibria” concept, many students showed performance that was greater than 55% or better. This study helps provide information that (i) can be used to improve areas where students may have poor understanding, (ii) is useful to instructors to decide on the time to spend in concepts in which students struggle. The reason(s) for the observed trends may stem from various factors, which include outside forces affecting students, or certain concepts may need more time for comprehension vis-à-vis others, and/or students not having strong previous foundations, especially in mathematical skills. The results of the study provide helpful information for instructors in science/education since these concepts may pose special challenges to different levels of difficulty. Overall, this study will help create a more successful classroom environment that is beneficial and enriches both the instructor and students.

Keywords:
undergraduate introductory chemistry course five concepts equilibria radioactivity and isotopes

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