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ERIC Number: EJ1175859
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Investigation of Undergraduate and Graduate Chemistry Students' Understanding of Thermodynamic Driving Forces in Chemical Reactions and Dissolution
Bain, Kinsey; Towns, Marcy H.
Journal of Chemical Education, v95 n4 p512-520 Apr 2018
The concept of energy is of central significance, as it is a core disciplinary idea in chemistry and a cross-cutting concept in the sciences. This study sought to investigate student understanding of energetics and associated thermodynamic functions in chemical reactions and processes across a sample of introductory-level undergraduate chemistry students, upper-level undergraduate chemistry students, and physical chemistry graduate students. Participants were interviewed using an interview-about-events protocol, interacting with reagents that underwent chemical reactions or dissolutions. Analysis of the interview data revealed specific student difficulties with content, as well as common reasoning patterns used by students when considering energy changes in observed reactions and processes. Implications for curriculum and instruction are discussed.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
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