Ven Vishnumolakala, Mauro Mocerino, David Treagust (Curtin University, Australia)
The study concerns first year chemistry students’ understanding of stereochemistry concepts in an Australian POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) context. The ongoing study involved the use of a post-test and delayed post-test design involving a 5 item two – tier chemistry diagnostic test (Stereochemistry Diagnostic Test – SCDT) to ascertain the extent to which students’ understanding of stereochemistry concepts changed when using an active learning pedagogy like POGIL. The instrument was first administered individually and two weeks later administered to groups of 2 – 4 students as a delayed post-test. Results of a paired sample t-test analysis indicated that each student’s understanding in the delayed test improved statistically significantly over their individual scores and many alternative conceptions held by individual students were resolved. However, new alternative conceptions emerged in the delayed post-test, primarily as a result of misinterpretation of diagrams.