Monday July 30, PM Sessions

S28b: The Good, the Bad, the Calculated & the Conceptual

Organizer: Jeff Huettman (McGraw Hill, USA)

Presider: Jeff Huettman (McGraw-Hill, USA)

Few chemistry instructors would argue with the fact that conceptual understanding can lead to success in algorithmic aspects of the course, but that the reverse is not necessarily true. Students today are ever more driven to rote calculator strategies to find success. Likewise, online homework systems and scan-tron tests make conceptual understanding increasingly difficult to measure. Most chemistry instructors would agree that creating better critical thinkers is a primary goal of the course, but, especially in large lecture scenarios, this goal is ever more elusive. We find ourselves increasingly involved in a “Will this be on the test?” environment, where even an answer of “yes” to that question is no guarantee of success. This symposium endeavors to explore the issues around conceptual understanding. What are the implications of a continued slide towards algorithmic problem solving over conceptual understanding? What techniques are working in the classroom to get to conceptual understanding? What tools and strategies have been successfully implemented to create more chemistry understanding and put problem solving over solving problems?

     Introduction 2:00pm-2:05pm

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