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This research describes a probabilistic approach for developing predictive models of how students learn problem-solving skills in general qualitative chemistry. The goal is to use these models to apply active, real-time interventions when the learning appears less than optimal. We first use self-organizing artificial neural networks to identify the most(More)
This paper describes a software tool that utilizes the Tablet PC's natural user interface to provide interactivity between an instructor and her students in an organic chemistry course. The instructor and the students are equipped with electronic tablets and wireless access to the Internet. The software tool, called OrganicPad, enables an instructor to(More)
Helping students understand "chemical energy" is notoriously difficult. Many hold inconsistent ideas about what energy is, how and why it changes during the course of a chemical reaction, and how these changes are related to bond energies and reaction dynamics. There are (at least) three major sources for this problem: 1) the way biologists talk about(More)
Biological systems, from the molecular to the ecological, involve dynamic interaction networks. To examine student thinking about networks we used graphical responses, since they are easier to evaluate for implied, but unarticulated assumptions. Senior college level molecular biology students were presented with simple molecular level scenarios;(More)
While evolutionary theory follows from observable facts and logical inferences (Mayr, 1985), historically, the origin of novel inheritable variations was a major obstacle to acceptance of natural selection (Bowler, 1992; Bowler, 2005). While molecular mechanisms address this issue (Jablonka and Lamb, 2005), analysis of responses to the Biological Concept(More)
This paper describes a novel intelligent tutoring system called beSocratic, which targets question types that allow students to respond with free-form input but are able to be automatically evaluated and analyzed. Using beSocratic's GraphPad module, students are able to draw data structures using a mouse, touch, or a stylus. Once a student has completed a(More)
Metacognition is fundamental in achieving understanding of chemistry and developing of problem solving skills. This paper describes an across-method-and-time instrument designed to assess the use of metacognition in chemistry problem solving. This multi method instrument combines a self report, namely the Metacognitive Activities Inventory (MCA-I), with a(More)
Many calls to improve science education in college and university settings have focused on improving instructor pedagogy. Meanwhile, science education at the K-12 level is undergoing significant changes as a result of the emphasis on scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. This framework of(More)
Over the years a great deal of time and attention has been devoted to reform of teaching and learning in chemistry. However, many of these efforts have focused on individual faculty's experiences and intuition, rather than our understanding of how people learn or evidence about the effects of such reforms. For example, while it is widely known that students(More)
A number of research studies indicate that students often have difficulties in understanding the presence and/or the implications of stochastic processes within biological systems. While critical to a wide range of phenomena, the presence and implications of stochastic processes are rarely explicitly considered in the course of formal instruction. To help(More)