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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 11 Issue 1 (2006) pp 5-8

Teaching Basic Applied Statistics in University Chemistry Courses: Students’ Misconceptions

Juan M. Sánchez

Chemistry Dept., University of Girona, Campus Montilivi, 17071-Girona (Spain),
Received September 21, 2005. November 23, 2005.

Published online: 13 January 2006

Abstract. Error analysis is of great importance for chemistry students because of its importance for solving problems. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find a subject where this topic is considered a central feature. During the last two academic years, I have used a method based on a preliminary test about basic statistical concepts and their application in chemistry followed by seminars with the students to study their answers. This methodology has helped to recognize students’ misconceptions and to detect the source of these misconceptions. The results extracted from the survey and the seminars have shown me how to teach this subject in an appropriate way each term. The main conclusion detected in this study is that student’s misconceptions are highly related with the way that previous lecturers have taught the subject, which suggests that teaching in this area needs to be rethought.

Key Words: In the Classroom; analytical chemistry; chemometrics; pedagogical changes

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Issue date: February 1, 2006

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