Session Type

Poster

Start Date

6-7-2011 5:30 PM

Keywords

Chemical Education

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

The transition from high school to university chemistry varies from student to student, and is likely to affect their future performance in university. This study is intended to determine the factors affecting success for students enrolled in first-year chemistry courses at the University of Toronto. As part of a larger project, semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted and students were encouraged to discuss their transition. The interviews were then coded according to six broader categories for comments related to high school and seven broader categories for comments related to university. The broader categories were further divided into more specific sub-categories which were given a score ranging from strongly negative to strongly positive based on the students’ comments. The results were graphed according to the overall score obtained by a category. The categories that scored highly and further analysis of the underlying sub-categories indicated that student study skills developed through evaluations in high school such as tests and labs were inadequate to cope with the increase in workload and change of evaluation style in University.

As part of the same project, results from the Approaches to Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) survey were statistically analyzed to provide further insight. Interviews were used to clarify discrepancies in student responses to survey questions concerning time management and organized study methods. The ASSIST data concerns study skills in an in-depth manner.


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Jul 6th, 5:30 PM

A Qualitative Study of the Transition from High School to University Chemistry

The transition from high school to university chemistry varies from student to student, and is likely to affect their future performance in university. This study is intended to determine the factors affecting success for students enrolled in first-year chemistry courses at the University of Toronto. As part of a larger project, semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted and students were encouraged to discuss their transition. The interviews were then coded according to six broader categories for comments related to high school and seven broader categories for comments related to university. The broader categories were further divided into more specific sub-categories which were given a score ranging from strongly negative to strongly positive based on the students’ comments. The results were graphed according to the overall score obtained by a category. The categories that scored highly and further analysis of the underlying sub-categories indicated that student study skills developed through evaluations in high school such as tests and labs were inadequate to cope with the increase in workload and change of evaluation style in University.

As part of the same project, results from the Approaches to Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) survey were statistically analyzed to provide further insight. Interviews were used to clarify discrepancies in student responses to survey questions concerning time management and organized study methods. The ASSIST data concerns study skills in an in-depth manner.