ACS Spring gives scientific professionals a platform to present, publish, discuss, and exhibit the most exciting research discoveries and technologies in chemistry and its related disciplines. The conference is an excellent opportunity for professionals and students to showcase their work and connect with colleagues in all areas of chemistry.

Join our poster presentation on 23 March at 12:00 PM (PDT)


DATE: Coming soon
PRESENTER: Judit Beagle, Erika Biró, Márk Szabó

Practice is crucial for success in the sciences. As learning was facilitated online during the first year and a half of the pandemic we learned that students use non-mandatory exercises to better understand the material. We were interested in following the student behavior towards non-mandatory practice material when the mode of instruction changed from online to in-person. We had the opportunity to do qualitative research on motivation and learning habits in an online and in-person organic chemistry class at the University of Dayton. The students enrolled in the class received optional chemistry practice quizzes on a regular basis in an online educational tool, Zosimos, and their engagement with the extra learning material was monitored throughout the semester. An online follow-up survey was also completed by the students to share insights about their practice habits.

Our findings indicate that self-motivation to complete non-mandatory practice exercises is high in an online learning environment while less popular in an in-person class. Students used the non-mandatory resources beyond the mandatory homework to improve their understanding of organic chemistry and to prepare for exams. Students’ motivational dispositions were very similar and we were able to identify some patterns in how they chose non-mandatory practice material. First of all, they consider how closely the extra exercises relate to the core material but their personal interest in specific topics also appears to be an important aspect of their observed behavior. Furthermore, structure drawing, understanding reaction mechanisms, and organic syntheses seemed to be complicated topics for many students. Thus, the majority of the students preferred the quizzes addressing these problems in the online tool to improve their learning outcomes. ferred the quizzes addressing these problems in the online tool to improve their learning outcomes.