Capturing misconceptions in chemistry with the aid of technology

CHED 363

Alma O. Gonzales, agonzal@clemson.edu and Melanie Cooper, cmelani@CLEMSON.EDU. Department of Chemistry, Clemson University, 201 Hunter Chemistry Laboratory, Clemson, SC 29634
This research study focuses on atomic models, chemical bonding and the associated energy changes. These concepts are fundamental to a robust understanding of chemistry, but it has been shown that many students have persistent misconceptions that are resistant to instruction. A concept inventory can be used to elicit these misconceptions and will eventually help us identify and understand the nature of how and why students develop and retain these ideas. The development of concept inventories is facilitated by using a) Ed's Tools, a web-based program that allows administration of open ended questions to students and facilitates efficient collection and coding of responses, and b) videotaped interviews with students using a semi-structured protocol. This visual record is very revealing especially for probing misconceptions about atomic model and chemical bonding. This paper will present and discuss the development of inventory items for topics of interest.