Relationship Between Study Habits and Student Attitudes Towards Science and Technology
Charles Robert Bowman, Drexel University, United States
Drexel University . Awarded
Improving student performance is the goal of any chemistry educator. With the proliferation of internet technologies in recent years, educators have been struggling with providing effective learning materials to students online. These materials also have not always had the intended effect of improving student performance. Either students do not use the materials provided or do not use them effectively, which is partially a result of the attitudes that students bring to a course.
A study at a mid-sized private university looked at the correlations between student usage of online resources, online homework, their attitudes towards science and technology, and their performance. The student cohort was analyzed in detail based on their demographics and their initial responses to the surveys; there was a small, positive correlation between students' attitudes towards science and their performance in general chemistry. Changes in students' attitudes were also studied in their relationship to students' online resource usage. It was observed that many students entered the course overconfident in their chemistry skills and that their confidence (self-concept) suffered during the first term of general chemistry. This decrease in confidence was negatively correlated with students accessing online homework and online educational materials, such as lecture slides or exam answers.
Various analyses of the effectiveness of the online resources were performed. Student accesses of Bb Vista (course management system) were analyzed to determine the materials that best assisted students in general chemistry. Student grades were positively correlated with access of the lecture slides and exam answers available online. Finally, student OWL (online web-based learning) usage was analyzed, focused on specific chemistry topics (e.g., electronegativity and enthalpy) and student success. A large number of attempts at the online homework problems coupled with a low average time spent per attempt indicated chemistry topics that students did not understand. The online resource usage data were collected during general chemistry 1 in Fall 2009, the surveys and course performance data were collected during general chemistry 1 and 2 (Fall 2009 and Winter 2010).
Bowman, C.R. Relationship Between Study Habits and Student Attitudes Towards Science and Technology. Ph.D. thesis, Drexel University.
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