How to Identify-with as Little as One Question-Students Who Are Likely to Struggle in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry

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Our goal as educators should be to help our students become well positioned to achieve future success. To develop effective strategies for accomplishing this objective, we must first understand the root causes of success. Thus, to best serve undergraduate students who are taking organic chemistry courses, we must understand the attributes that most significantly enable students to be successful in these courses. The current work evaluates an assessment of undergraduate students’ abilities to answer simple general chemistry questions on the first day of an organic chemistry course. The results show that this assessment, as well as some but not all of its component questions, have high ability to predict student outcomes in an organic chemistry 1 course. This type of assessment can provide a tool for instructors to easily identify high-risk students right at the beginning of the semester. The results of this study also identify some particular prerequisite knowledge and skills that are especially important for positioning students to succeed in organic chemistry courses. © 2023 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Chemical Education

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determinants of success, organic chemistry, predictive modeling, undergraduate