Session S26e (Wednesday, 2pm, Thomas 117)

P829: Impact of graduate teaching assistants’ conceptions on their students’ academic performance in general chemistry

Tanya Gupta, Tom Greenbowe (Iowa State University, USA)

Teaching assistants play an important role in undergraduate laboratory instruction and small group recitation/ discussion sessions. In large classrooms where course professors teach in a class size of 150-200 or more, students rely heavily on their teaching assistants to review the concepts and help them solve problems. In this mixed methods study at a state university, graduate teaching assistants were interviewed on their approaches to problem solving in stoichiometry and thermochemistry.  Findings indicate that some of the teaching assistants struggle with the problems in the same way as college freshmen.  The study also sheds light on the impact of teaching assistants’ conceptions on student performance on specific problems on exams and the overall academic performance of their students.

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