Measuring the Cognitive Abilities of Students in an Organic First Curriculum

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One of the major impediments in the widespread implementation of the Organic First curriculum is lack of adequate assessment. In particular, there is legitimate concern whether students in such a curriculum would be cognitively "mature" to tackle organic chemistry without prior exposure to general chemistry. Since it has been two years since we first implemented the Organic First curriculum at UMR, we decided to address this concern by measuring the cognitive abilities of our students. Midterm and final exam questions from two courses; CHEM 1231 (Fall 2009 and Fall 2010) and CHEM 2231 (Spring 2010 and Spring 2011) were classified according to Bloom's taxonomic levels. The percent correct responses in each of the first four categories (Knowledge, Comprehension, Application and Analysis) were then analyzed. We found that while a large majority of the students were capable of answering questions at the knowledge and comprehension levels, a significant number could tackle questions at the application and analysis level. This study was presented at the 242nd national ACS meeting in Denver in August 2011. Here's a copy of the poster. posterACS.pdf

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This page contains a single entry by Rajeev Muthyala published on November 26, 2011 11:40 AM.

STEMming the rot (so to speak) was the previous entry in this blog.

Lecture Vs. Student-Centered Learning is the next entry in this blog.

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