Northern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Student Ability to Connect Symbolic, Particulate, and Macroscopic Representations in the General Chemistry Laboratory

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to determine the extent to which student make meaningful connections between the different types of representations used to convey chemical concepts in a general chemistry laboratory. In this study, students completed a lab activity in which patterns in macroscopic data was used to support proposed symbolic chemical equations and particulate representations of physical and chemical change processes. Several empirical studies have shown that student understanding of particulate-level models is limited as most instruction focuses on symbolic representations of chemical concepts (e.g., formulas, equations). Student responses to questions posed in lab reports and embedded in course assessments was analyzed to develop a profile of student ability to connect knowledge of a chemical concept among different representations. The results from this study will be discussed.

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Student Ability to Connect Symbolic, Particulate, and Macroscopic Representations in the General Chemistry Laboratory

The purpose of this research is to determine the extent to which student make meaningful connections between the different types of representations used to convey chemical concepts in a general chemistry laboratory. In this study, students completed a lab activity in which patterns in macroscopic data was used to support proposed symbolic chemical equations and particulate representations of physical and chemical change processes. Several empirical studies have shown that student understanding of particulate-level models is limited as most instruction focuses on symbolic representations of chemical concepts (e.g., formulas, equations). Student responses to questions posed in lab reports and embedded in course assessments was analyzed to develop a profile of student ability to connect knowledge of a chemical concept among different representations. The results from this study will be discussed.