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ERIC Number: EJ968659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1756-1108
A Study of First-Year Chemistry Students' Understanding of Solution Concentration at the Tertiary Level
de Berg, Kevin
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v13 n1 p8-16 2012
This paper reports on students' understanding of sugar concentration in aqueous solutions presented in two different modes: a visual submicroscopic mode for particles and a verbal mode referring to macroscopic amounts of sugar. One hundred and forty-five tertiary college students studying some form of first-year chemistry participated in the study. For problems of a similar nature, students were much more successful in solving solution concentration problems that were presented verbally than were presented using a submicroscopic representation of particles. The implications of this for chemistry education are outlined in the paper. One contributing factor to the poor success rate with submicroscopic representations (SMR) was possibly the fact that the SMR were presented in multiple-choice format whereas the verbal representations required a short-answer response. While the multiple-choice format may prove deceptive, on account of the way students interpret alternatives containing visual images, students agreed it also proved instructive in highlighting the importance of accounting for volume change in concentration calculations. (Contains 4 tables and 4 figures.)
Royal Society of Chemistry. Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF, UK. Tel: +44-1223 420066; Fax: +44-1223 423623; 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
Identifiers - Location: Australia