Student perceptions of learning data-creation and data-analysis skills in an introductory college-level chemistry course
This study examines how students perceive their learning of creating and analyzing data in an introductory inquiry chemistry course at a college level that features oral presentations in student-centered discussions. A student Participant Perception Indicator (PPI) survey was administered in order to obtain data on student perceptions with respect to their own data-creation and data-analysis skills, which skills are essential for learning and understanding science. These student perceptions regarding gaining knowledge were consistently higher than their perceptions regarding gaining confidence and experience; however, both the confidence and the experience measures increased significantly as a semester progressed. Further, significant differences in student perceptions were found to exist between students who made oral presentations and students who did not. This finding strongly supports the active learning theory, i.e., learning by doing, and strongly encourages student participation in knowledge creation. Findings were also analyzed according to student demographics (gender, school) to determine patterns for different populations within the groups of students. Such analysis is important for instructors and for course designers to enable them to adjust their manner of teaching based on student demographic information in their classes, and to adjust the provided feedback and guidance, as needed.