Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Michelle Head

Disciplines

Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Abstract (300 words maximum)

STEM professional identity serves as one lens through which researchers have used to study factors that influence achievement in chemistry courses and persistence in a STEM major. The literature has proposed that the high attrition rate among STEM majors may result from the student’s evolving professional identity, motivational factors, and how they correlate a STEM career to their future aspirations. There is limited insight into how laboratory classes and teaching practices affect a student’s professional identity development. To investigate this, this study employed James Marcia’s identity development theory to understand the relationship between a student's identity status and their perception of laboratory instruction in a first-semester Organic Chemistry Laboratory course. The course was selected for the research context since, unlike General Chemistry, this lab presents new challenges for students with regards new content, laboratory methods, and instrumentation. A mixed methods research design utilized the Meaningful Learning in the Laboratory Instrument (MLLI), Professional Identity Status Questionnaire (PISQ-5d), and a semi-structured interview. Results from each data collection method will be presented and shown how they were triangulated to allow the researchers to draw their overall conclusion of this study. In addition, the findings will aid in providing suggestions for how organic chemistry laboratory instruction may be changed to aid in further development of a student's STEM Professional Identity.

Keywords: Chemical Education, Chemistry, Meaningful Learning, James Marcia, Professional Identity, Pre-Professional Identity.

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, synchronously via Teams

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Pilot Study Exploring the Impact that Laboratory ​Instruction has on a Student's STEM Professional Identity​ ​

STEM professional identity serves as one lens through which researchers have used to study factors that influence achievement in chemistry courses and persistence in a STEM major. The literature has proposed that the high attrition rate among STEM majors may result from the student’s evolving professional identity, motivational factors, and how they correlate a STEM career to their future aspirations. There is limited insight into how laboratory classes and teaching practices affect a student’s professional identity development. To investigate this, this study employed James Marcia’s identity development theory to understand the relationship between a student's identity status and their perception of laboratory instruction in a first-semester Organic Chemistry Laboratory course. The course was selected for the research context since, unlike General Chemistry, this lab presents new challenges for students with regards new content, laboratory methods, and instrumentation. A mixed methods research design utilized the Meaningful Learning in the Laboratory Instrument (MLLI), Professional Identity Status Questionnaire (PISQ-5d), and a semi-structured interview. Results from each data collection method will be presented and shown how they were triangulated to allow the researchers to draw their overall conclusion of this study. In addition, the findings will aid in providing suggestions for how organic chemistry laboratory instruction may be changed to aid in further development of a student's STEM Professional Identity.

Keywords: Chemical Education, Chemistry, Meaningful Learning, James Marcia, Professional Identity, Pre-Professional Identity.

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