Date of Award
Master of Science in Chemical Sciences (MSCB)
Michael Van Dyke
It is known that students leave science classes with an incomplete or incorrect understanding of some of the concepts covered in the courses. Identification of these misconceptions is difficult, as it usually involves conducting an hour long one-on-one interview with a student. Concept inventories were developed as a way for professors to identify misconceptions in their classroom in an efficient manner. However, there is no collection of biology, chemistry and biochemistry concept inventories and there has been no analysis of the quality of these inventories. One goal of the research was to collect these inventories and do the much needed analysis. Fifty-two concept inventories were collected and they were analyzed to determine if research was done with the target population and what form of validity and internal consistency are most reported.
Previous research has indicated that biochemistry students have a difficultly with enzyme-substrate interactions and the Enzyme-Substrate Interactions Concept Inventory (ESICI) has been developed to determine the most common misconceptions related to this topic. Using the ESICI, misconceptions were identified in a one-semester biochemistry course and an activity was constructed for use in the classroom as a replacement for lecture-based teaching. This activity will help students to better incorporate enzyme-substrate interactions into their long-term memory as well as give them the chance to discuss their ideas with fellow students. The guided-inquiry activity was also tested for effectiveness as both an in-class activity and as a homework activity in order to determine for which setting this activity is best suited.