ERIC Number: ED347065
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Predicting Performance in Freshman Chemistry.
Nordstrom, Brian H.
The relatively large number of students who perform poorly in freshman chemistry courses signals the need for the identification of criteria that will result in correct placement decisions for incoming college students. Research findings have generally reported placement criteria that correlate significantly with performance in college chemistry coursework; however, predictions of course grades have tended to be very inaccurate because most of this research focused on the development of regression models in which a single predictor was utilized. The study reported in this paper used the method of discriminant analysis to predict membership of the target sample of freshman students into one of two groups: those that received a grade of "A,""B," or "C" in their first semester of Chemistry; and those that received a grade of "D,""F," or "W." An acceptable statistical model, in terms of assumptions on normality and homogeneity of variance, was developed from discriminant functional analyses and multiple regression analyses of data from previous freshman classes. The factors that were identified as best predictors of performance in College Chemistry--in order of standardized relative weightings--were the mathematics score on the student's college entrance examination, high school grade point average (GPA), course grade in high school chemistry, high school mathematics GPA, and course grade in high school English. The model correctly predicted the discriminant group for almost three out of four students (73.7%). (18 references) (JJK)
Descriptors: Chemistry, College Entrance Examinations, College Science, Discriminant Analysis, Grade Point Average, Grade Prediction, High Schools, Higher Education, Introductory Courses, Multiple Regression Analysis, Predictive Measurement, Predictive Validity, Predictor Variables, Science Achievement, Science Education, Standardized Tests, Student Placement
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (Boston, MA, April, 1990).