Session S35 (Monday, 2pm, Life Sciences 013)

P301: Student success in organic chemistry: The challenge of a cumulative, qualitative physical science course

Kevin Bucholtz (Mercer University, USA)

Predicting student success in organic chemistry can be difficult because of wide ranges in student abilities, study strategies, and work ethics.  For some students who performed well in general chemistry, organic chemistry can be challenging because of the increased qualitative nature of the material.  At Mercer University, students are required to earn a C or better in Organic Chemistry I to continue on to Organic Chemistry II.  Based on analysis of six years of data (364 students) and comparing it with departmental data, a strong indicator of success for the matriculation into the second course of the sequence is the student’s performance on the first exam of Organic Chemistry I.  Because of the cumulative nature of the course sequence, it is imperative that the fundamentals of the first exam are successfully mastered.  This presentation will address the data, methods used, conclusions, and current approaches to improve student success.

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