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ERIC Number: EJ1062146
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Acid-Base Learning Outcomes for Students in an Introductory Organic Chemistry Course
Stoyanovich, Carlee; Gandhi, Aneri; Flynn, Alison B.
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n2 p220-229 Feb 2015
An outcome-based approach to teaching and learning focuses on what the student demonstrably knows and can do after instruction, rather than on what the instructor teaches. This outcome-focused approach can then guide the alignment of teaching strategies, learning activities, and assessment. In organic chemistry, mastery of organic acid-base knowledge and skills are particularly essential for success. For example, Brønsted acid-base knowledge and skills are required in greater than 85% of the more complex organic and biochemical reactions we analyzed in this study. Despite the importance of mastering acid-base concepts and skills, the literature describes many related student difficulties. We identified essential learning outcomes (LOs) in organic acid-base chemistry by (1) analyzing more complex organic reactions to identify the acid-base-related skills and knowledge that students would need to successfully analyze those reactions and (2) analyzing textbooks' explanations and coverage of acid-base chemistry. We constructed the learning outcomes using the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) and modified Bloom taxonomies, as well as SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bounded) goal-setting principles. We explicitly aligned our courses' learning activities and assessments with those intended learning outcomes, both in the initial introduction of acid-base chemistry and as we analyze more complex reactions. To clearly communicate these LOs to students and other educators, we described them in an educational graphic.
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 - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Ottawa)