Investigation of the correlation between college students’ success with stoichiometry subproblems and metacognitive awareness

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© 2020, Canadian Science Publishing. All rights reserved. The development of problem-solving skills — particularly with stoichiometry concepts — is paramount for succeeding in a general chemistry sequence. Key concepts related to problem solving and stoichiometry were analyzed and reported in this paper. The study analyzed retention of stoichiometry concepts over two consecutive quarters, the correlations between metacognition and success, and the correlations between the COSINE (Coding System for Investigating Subproblems and the Net-work) codes with the categories measured by the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI). Two cohorts, identified as the general and focus groups, were evaluated in the study. The general group (n = 39) took MAI in the Fall quarter and completed one multi-step question as a part of their regular exam. Concurrently, the focus group (n = 20) participated in a think-aloud session in which they solved six stoichiometry questions. Using a 95% confidence level, statistical differences between the fall and winter problem-solving performances were observed with the focus group. Furthermore, statistically significant correlations (using a 95% level of confidence) were observed between the MAI categories and the COSINE codes.






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Gulacar, O, C Cox, E Tribble, N Rothbart and R Cohen-Sandler (2020). Investigation of the correlation between college students’ success with stoichiometry subproblems and metacognitive awareness. Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 98(11). pp. 676–682. 10.1139/cjc-2019-0384 Retrieved from

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Charlie T. Cox

Associate Professor of the Practice of Chemistry

Prof. Cox’s research interest lie within the field of chemical education and focus predominantly upon general and organic chemistry. The first area of interest analyzes the longitudinal progression of students across the two year sequence and beyond. Specific research questions have probed central topics such as acid-base chemistry, thermodynamics, and kinetics to analyze alternate conceptions and challenges students face in general chemistry and how those challenges translate and impact performance in organic chemistry and beyond. The central goal is to identify deficiencies across the curriculum to inform evidence-based teaching practices in general chemistry. The second area of interest in the longitudinal study focuses upon safety training and students’ understanding not only of the policies but their abilities to recognize and address safety hazards. This research analyzes the safety training protocols from high school to industry. The central question focuses upon identifying the best practices for teaching and training students with respect to chemical safety. Finally, a recent project is in works to analyze practices for developing inclusive classrooms in chemistry with a specific interest in how can we better design course materials and formative assessments. 

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