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Partial least squares structural equation modeling of chemistry attitude in introductory college chemistry

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Abstract

Students’ decisions to enter or persist in STEM courses is linked with their affective domain. The influence of factors impacting students’ affective domain in introductory college chemistry classes, such as attitude, is often overlooked by instructors, who instead focus on students’ mathematical abilities as sole predictors of academic achievement. The current academic barrier to enrollment in introductory college chemistry classes is typically a passing grade in a mathematics prerequisite class. However, mathematical ability is only a piece of the puzzle in predicting preparedness for college chemistry. Herein, students’ attitude toward the subject of chemistry was measured using the original Attitudes toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory (ASCI). Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to chart and monitor the development of students’ attitude toward the subject of chemistry during an introductory college chemistry course. Results from PLS-SEM support a 3-factor (intellectual accessibility, emotional satisfaction, and interest and utility) structure, which could signal the distinct cognitive, affective, and behavioral components of attitude, according to its theoretical tripartite framework. Evidence of a low-involvement hierarchy of attitude effect is also presented herein. This study provides a pathway for instructors to identify at-risk students, exhibiting low affective characteristics, early in a course so that academic interventions are feasible. The results presented here have implications for the design and implementation of teaching strategies geared toward optimizing student achievement in introductory college chemistry.

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Dec 2017, accepted on 10 Jul 2018 and first published on 10 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7RP00238F
Citation: Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2018, Advance Article
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    Partial least squares structural equation modeling of chemistry attitude in introductory college chemistry

    J. Ross, L. Nuñez and C. C. Lai, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7RP00238F

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