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ERIC Number: EJ1156338
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1756-1108
Investigating Students' Similarity Judgments in Organic Chemistry
Graulich, N.; Bhattacharyya, G.
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v18 n4 p774-784 Oct 2017
Organic chemistry is possibly the most visual science of all chemistry disciplines. The process of scientific inquiry in organic chemistry relies on external representations, such as Lewis structures, mechanisms, and electron arrows. Information about chemical properties or driving forces of mechanistic steps is not available through direct perception, and thus looking beyond the respresentation is challenging for learners. In this study, we investigated the categorization behavior of undergraduate students enrolled in an organic chemistry course when engaged in various categorization tasks involving electrophilic addition reactions to alkenes. The critical attribute a student chose to make a category out of a set of reactions was classified as perceptual or relational and gave insights into how students process and store information about reactions at an early level of expertise. Our results support the notion that students are prone to the surface level of representations and make sense of reactions depicted in a very minimalistic fashion. Implications for approaching this phenomenon in teaching are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A