Our 2018-2019 webinar series continued with Prof Scott Lewis who gave a webinar entitled: At-Risk Students and Equity in Post-Secondary Introductory Chemistry. This webinar was kindly supported by Learning Science. A recording is below. Note that there was a technical glitch about 36 minutes, so a few seconds are lost.
A substantial literature base has related past performances on academic measures to student success in post-secondary introductory chemistry. Students who enter with lower scores on these metrics (herein referred to as at-risk students) are therefore expected to have a lower rate of academic success prior to the start of the semester. This finding describes an outcome that falls short of the goal of equitable outcomes in education and the goal of promoting success for all students. This presentation describes two investigations to better understand the experiences of at-risk students, identified by scores on a prior measure of math aptitude, with the ultimate goal to inform efforts to achieve equitable outcomes in chemistry. In the first investigation, the frequency of at risk students’ study habits via text messages and the quality of study habits via student interview are explored. A mixed methods approach was used to develop a hypothesis for how at-risk students’ study habits can support their academic success. In the second investigation at-risk students’ by-topic academic performance in the context of the overall cohort is characterized to identify topics that pose an incommensurate challenge to at-risk students. Recommendations for instruction and future research aimed at achieving equitable outcomes in chemistry education will be presented.
Scott Lewis joined the chemistry department at the University of South Florida in 2013. His research focuses on understanding factors related to student success in chemistry including student study habits, student affect and the role of assessment types and formats. Additionally his research is directed at understanding the role of math preparation in chemistry success with a goal of achieving equitable outcomes in chemistry education. His research also includes developing, implementing and evaluating novel forms of pedagogy and assessment techniques with a particular focus on the long-term retention of concepts.