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Science and Mathematics Education

Chemistry Publications

First-year undergraduate

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Defining Conceptual Understanding In General Chemistry, Thomas Holme, Cynthia J. Luxford, Alexandra Brandriet Jan 2015

Defining Conceptual Understanding In General Chemistry, Thomas Holme, Cynthia J. Luxford, Alexandra Brandriet

Chemistry Publications

Among the many possible goals that instructors have for students in general chemistry, the idea that they will better understand the conceptual underpinnings of the science is certainly important. Nonetheless, identifying with clarity what exemplifies student success at achieving this goal is hindered by the challenge of clearly articulating what conceptual understanding entails. While this may be a case of “we know it when we see it”, the design of assessments ultimately requires a specific definition of conceptual understanding. Without such a specific definition of the construct, it may be readily argued that a proposed measure does not provide evidence ...