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ERIC Number: EJ951448
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Knowledge Surveys in General Chemistry: Confidence, Overconfidence, and Performance
Bell, Priscilla; Volckmann, David
Journal of Chemical Education, v88 n11 p1469-1476 Nov 2011
Knowledge surveys have been used in a number of fields to assess changes in students' understanding of their own learning and to assist students in review. This study compares metacognitive confidence ratings of students faced with problems on the surveys with their actual knowledge as shown on the final exams in two courses of general chemistry (Chem 110A and Chem 110B). The surveys were administered at the start and end of the course and correlated with the final exam scores. The surveys and final exams were found to be reliable, and the relatively high correlations between them suggested that students' confidence ratings on knowledge surveys were valid reflections of their actual knowledge. Students scoring high on the exams estimated their knowledge with greater accuracy than the lower-scoring students, who overestimated their knowledge (see figure). This phenomenon reflected the Dunning-Kruger effect, and the methodology of knowledge surveys isolated students' efficacy expectations, not outcome expectations, as the likely origin of the effect. Finding remedial interventions to improve metacognitive skills for lower-scoring, overconfident students poses a continuing problem. (Contains 7 figures.)
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; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A