Tabitha Chigwada-Razunguzwa (West Virginia University, USA)
Introduction to Chemistry (Chem. 110) was developed in the 1970’s to assist students with weak algebra and study skills and those with no previous chemistry experience. Since its inception, the number of incoming students who fail to attain the prerequisites for entry into Chemistry 115 has gradually increased from 10 % to over 50 % of the incoming freshmen enrolled in chemistry courses, leading to an increase in class sizes from 40-50 students to over 125 students per section. This resulted in an increase in the DFW percentages from below 25 % in the 1980’s to over 60 % in the 2000’s. In the past years we have implemented several student centered initiatives to help improve students’ success rates in Chem. 110. We report on strategies used and explain how they enhanced student understanding of chemistry concepts and helped improve their problem solving skills.