Constructivist-Based Asynchronous Tutorial to Improve Transfer between Math and Chemistry Domains: Design, Implementation, and Analysis of the Impact of ReMATCH on General Chemistry Course Performance and Confidence
Barker, M. Danielle
University of Kansas
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The two-year implementation of ReMATCH, a web-based math and problem-solving tutorial, in a traditionally arranged general chemistry classroom at the University of Kansas examined the impact of a designed intervention to assist students with the transfer of their mathematical knowledge to a chemistry context where it could be readily used for quantitative problem solving. The ReMATCH intervention, designed on constructivist-based pedagogies, focused on illuminating the expert-processes of problem solving and transferring knowledge across domains to the novice chemistry. The two implementations of ReMATCH - once as lab assignments and once lecture assignments - resulted in very different student responses to the intervention. However, within both, the beneficial effects of sustained ReMATCH-use were visible. In 2006, students who attempted all of the ReMATCH homework assignments were predicted to earn ~5% higher on their total exam points. The 2007 implementation of ReMATCH demonstrated that students who attempted all of the homework problems and visited at least half of the ReMATCH tutorial pages were predicted to earn ~8.5% higher on their total exam points. Additionally, use of ReMATCH in 2006 also resulted in increased confidence (as measured by comfort-level) with some of the math-related chemistry topics covered in ReMATCH. In 2007, when only students who attempted all of the ReMATCH problems were considered, it became clear that individuals who were initially less confident in their math-related chemistry skills were more likely to view more of the ReMATCH tutorial pages. When students with lower initial comfort-levels on these topics viewed at least half of the ReMATCH tutorial pages, they were able to compensate for their initially lower levels of confidence and were equally comfortable with most of the math-related chemistry topics by the final survey. Student interactions with and perceptions of ReMATCH showed that student attitudes towards ReMATCH could be described by two factors: (1) how relevant and (2) how accessible they found the tutorial and homework to be. Students with more sustained interactions with ReMATCH presented more positive attitudes regarding the accessibility of the website in the 2006 study.
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