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Flo, Slytherin' State
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Request for faculty to trial test concept inventories for General Chemistry

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to invite you to participate in a chemistry education research project to learn more about your students’ conceptual understanding of important chemistry topics.

Through a grant from the National Science Foundation, my graduate students and I have developed two concept inventories for use in college chemistry classrooms. These assessments are suitable for general chemistry, physical chemistry, and biophysical chemistry. Brief descriptions of these multiple-choice assessments can be found below.

I am writing to invite you to use these concept inventories in your classroom during the 2018–2019 academic year. You may use one or both of them. For the purposes of this research study, we would ask you to administer the assessment after you have taught and tested the relevant material with your students. Each concept inventory requires approximately 10-15 minutes for students to complete. 

Here is a brief description of each concept inventory, as well as a short description of how they were developed:

  • Enthalpy and Entropy in Dissolving and Precipitation Inventory (E2DPI) - explores student understanding of the dissolving of ionic compounds in aqueous solution, the formation of precipitates from the mixing of aqueous ionic solutions, and the enthalpy and entropy changes that accompany these processes. 
     
  • Quantization and Probability Representations Inventory (QuPRI) - explores student understanding of the electronic structure of the atom, focusing on representations of atomic orbitals and an energy level diagram.

The concept inventories were developed through interviews with students, asking them to explain demonstrations (e.g., dissolving and precipitation), to interpret models showing the structure of atoms, and to interpret commonly used symbols such as energy level diagrams. Students’ descriptions of these events were used to write multiple choice items that include not only the correct answer, but also the most frequently expressed alternative conceptions of the students.

We will mail you paper copies of the inventory, a short “script” to read as directions before administering the concept inventory, and a postage paid federal express envelope to return all the concept inventories back to us. There is no cost to you for participating in this project.

In return, we will provide you with data analysis regarding your students’ performance on each question so that you might use this formative feedback in your classroom. Student responses will be anonymous but they will be asked to grant permission for their responses to be used in our research study. This research has been reviewed and approved by the Miami University Institutional Review Board under exemption certificate #01265e.

If you wish to administer one or more of these concept inventories to your students, please click here to indicate your interest.

Thank you very much for considering this opportunity. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Stacey Lowery Bretz

University Distinguished Professor

Fellow, American Chemical Society
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
 
Miami University • Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
651 E. High Street • Oxford, OH 45056
513-529-3731 • bretzsl@miamioh.edu • http://MiamiOH.edu/bretzsl • @SLBCER