Session S39a (Tuesday, 9:30am, Thomas 117)

P374: Elucidating students' understandings and misconceptions of alkyl halide and alkene reactions in undergraduate organic chemistry

Daniel Cruz-Ramirez de Arellano, Marcy Towns (Purdue University, USA)

Organic chemistry is an essential subject for many undergraduate students completing degrees in science, engineering, and pre-professional programs. However, students often struggle with the concepts and problem-solving skills required to successfully solve organic chemistry exercises. Given that alkyl halides and alkene reactions are among the first topics that are studied in undergraduate organic chemistry courses, establishing a robust understanding of these concepts can be beneficial in assuring students’ success in organic courses. In this study, participants were interviewed using a think-aloud protocol in which they were given a set of exercises dealing with reactions and mechanisms of alkyl halide and alkene molecules in order to shed light on the students’ understandings of these reactions and elucidate any misconceptions that may be present. These interviews were transcribed and analyzed; findings will be shared along with implications for teaching practice and assessment.

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