Effects on Student Achievement in General Chemistry following Participation in an Online Preparatory Course: ChemPrep, a Voluntary, Self-Paced, Online Introduction to Chemistry
Beatrice Botch, Roberta Day, William Vining, Barbara Stewart, Kenneth Rath, Alan Peterfreund, David Hart
Journal of Chemical Education Volume 84, Number 3, ISSN 0021-9584
ChemPrep was developed to be a stand-alone preparatory short-course to help students succeed in general chemistry. It is Web-based and delivered using the OWL system. Students reported that the ChemPrep materials (short information pages, parameterized questions with detailed feedback, tutorials, and answers to questions through the OWL message system) permitted them to work independently without the need for textbook or lecture. On average, students who completed ChemPrep had higher grades in the subsequent GenChem, Nursing, and Honors chemistry courses, with a greater percentage achieving a grade of C- or higher. Participation in ChemPrep was voluntary, and more women than men responded. Students in the Honors course enrolled in ChemPrep in higher percentages than students in GenChem and Nursing. SAT and departmental math placement exam scores were used as proxy measures of prior achievement and ability. Based on these, Honors chemistry ChemPrep users were on par with their peers but performed better in the course than non-users. In GenChem and Nursing chemistry courses, ChemPrep helped students of high prior achievement and ability perform better than their achievement scores would predict. Weaker or less motivated students did not respond to the voluntary offerings of ChemPrep in the same numbers as stronger or more motivated students, and we are seeking alternate ways to reach this population. (Contains 2 figures, 8 tables, and 8 notes.)
Botch, B., Day, R., Vining, W., Stewart, B., Rath, K., Peterfreund, A. & Hart, D. (2007). Effects on Student Achievement in General Chemistry following Participation in an Online Preparatory Course: ChemPrep, a Voluntary, Self-Paced, Online Introduction to Chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 84(3), 547-553.