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1 Can I read the chemistry without being overloaded by the mathematics? Glennys O’Brien School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong Simon B Bedford School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong Can I read the chemistry without being overloaded by the mathematics?

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2 Where we are going Examples of student work Problem solving Concepts and Abstractions Cognitive overload Predicting success Support / interventions

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3 3 Student HS Background HSC Gen Maths 85 HSC Chem None ATAR 85 Final CHEM101 marks: 61 PASS Abs = b c

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4 4 Student HS Background HSC Gen Maths 84 HSC Chem None ATAR 88 CHEM101: 59 PASS

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5 5 Student HS Background HSC Maths None HSC Chem None ATAR 76 CHEM101: did not complete

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6 6 Student HS Background HSC 2U Maths 79 HSC Chem None ATAR 85 CHEM101: 81 Distinction

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7 7 Problem solving: what you do when you do not know what to do chemical scenario mathematical relationship interpret into chemical scenario calculation to answer mathematical manipulation reattempt (iv) (iii) (ii) (i)

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8 Abstract Concepts: G < 0 -ve signs Temperature effects Units S = k ln W Abstraction of chemistry Abstraction of mathematics G = H - T S

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9 Oh, my brain is full 01225386143 610242213294 +61 (02) 4221 3294 12 to 4 = Chunking

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10 A more relevant example! Para or 4-

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11 A more relevant example! Student working memory overload! You see 3 chunks, they see multiple chunks

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12 Cognitive overload Long term memory allows capacity to be expanded by use of schemas or chunking Intrinsic cognitive load due to interactivity of different elements Extraneous cognitive load due to activity that interferes with learning Affective cognitive load helps learning and enhances motivation

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13 Overloading the working memory Too many points to include Start simple and chunk but Not enough practice to achieve chunking Still overloaded Outcomes poor 13

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14 Student driven change Motivation and self efficacy Learning occurs at the point of need Learning occurs at the perceived point of need 14

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15 Factors affecting student success in CHEM101 2010 cohort Regression model developed in a project undertaken by summer session Maths / stats student Comparisons limited to Pass / Fail Most significant factor is HSC Mathematics mark then HSC Chemistry mark then ATAR Beyond prediction what may this result tell us? Why does coping with mathematics help? 15 Reference: http://eis.uow.edu.au/smas/maths-teachers-day/ssLINK/1515/UOW127144

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16 Interventions: Concept development and problem solving in workshops 2011 spread available skills through groups 2012-2013 streamed groups and workshops 2014 streamed subjects CHEM101 or CHEM104 2014 specific series of lectures called QS for non HSC Chem students in CHEM104

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