ERIC Number: ED381394
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Assessing Student Problem-Solving Success on Selected Topics in Introductory Chemistry.
Incident identification graphs can be used to diagnose areas of difficulty in a subject's problem-solving schema at the episodic level. In this study, 22 subjects (2 experts and 20 novices) categorized into five problem-solving groups (expert, high algorithmic/high conceptual, low algorithmic/high conceptual, high algorithmic/low conceptual, and low algorithmic/low conceptual) were interviewed while solving problems on four topics generally found in introductory-level college chemistry (i.e. density, stoichiometry, bonding, and gas laws). Further analysis yielded that the conceptual-mode problem of the paired question was far more difficult and less often solved correctly for all groups of subjects (except high algorithm/high conceptual groups) than the corresponding algorithmic-mode problem although the algorithmic-mode problem took longer and required more transitions between episodes. Correct conceptual understanding, as reported by the problem solvers on transcribed think-aloud interviews, rested upon a known definition and an increased understanding of the language of chemistry. Suggestions are given to improve students' conceptual base in introductory chemistry. (Author/LZ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (San Francisco, CA, April 22-25, 1995).