MICER Blog

Poster 1: Utility Value Intervention in Organic Chemistry by Ariana McDarby and Alexey Leontyev #MICER22

Using small writing exercises that prompt students to relate topics they are learning in class to their future careers or real-life situations can help to enhance their motivation and performance. This project examined the implementation of a utility value intervention in a Survey of Organic Chemistry course. This study specifically sought to see if there was an effect on student exam scores or their attitude towards chemistry and motivation after the intervention.  

Poster 2: Beyond Convenience: Sampling for Methodological Rigor and Sociocultural Impact #MICER22

KatieMarie Magnone and Ellen Yezierski

This poster details the novel participant sampling process employed for recruiting secondary chemistry teachers to the VisChem Project (professional development and follow-up study in their classrooms). Implications for non-convenience sampling procedures for mixed methods research when access and equity considerations are a priority will be presented.

Poster 3: Engaging Female Undergraduates In Chemistry: The impacts of Covid-19 Pandemic #MICER22

Isobel Grint, Eleanor Crabb and Rafaela Vasiliadou

Our research aims to identify the short and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on female university students, (undergraduates) across the UK (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales). In this poster, we describe how we developed an online questionnaire to identify the challenges and limitations that might prevent the engagement of female undergraduates in chemistry. 

Poster 4: Engaging first Year Students: A team Approach to Integrating and Embedding a Culture of Feedback #MICER22

Frances Heaney, Denise Rooney, Orla Fenelon, Tobias Krämer, Eithne Dempsey, Stephen Barrett, Caytlin Boylan, Kyle Doherty
Luke Marchetti, Joseph Curran, Trinidad Velasco-Torrijos, Lisa O’Reagan

We believe student feedback is integral to enhancing both teaching and learning and in this poster we present a recent initiative to create and normalise a culture of feedback with first year students and chemistry staff. The poster describes how we brought student feedback together with academic feedback and pre-practical preparation and reports on how the students believed they benefited from the initiative.

Poster 5: Virtual Laboratories in Higher Education as an Innovative Pedagogical Tool #MICER22

Denise Rooney1, Frances Heaney1, Carmel Breslin1, Steffi Thomas1, Marwa Aly1, Orla Fenelon1, Ronan Bree4, Bernard Drumm4, Brian Murphy5, Aoife Morrin2, Martin Nolan2, Eric Moore3

The initiative brings together five Higher Education Institutions: Maynooth University, Technology University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest, Dublin City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology and University College Cork with education technology providers, to develop courses in which a virtual laboratory experience is complemented with a real laboratory experience. The initiative will give students the opportunity to experience a real-work environment through virtual training and engagement with enterprise partners, and to help reinforce practical techniques and concepts, as well as management and project work.

Poster 6: Development and Evaluation of the Assessment of Student Knowledge of Green Chemistry Principles (ASK-GCP) #MICER22

Krystal Grieger, Annie Schiro, and Alexey Leontyev

In this poster, we report the development and evaluation of the Assessment of Student Knowledge of Green Chemistry Principles (ASK-GCP). This instrument has been shown to be an efficient and accurate instrument to measure student knowledge of green chemistry principles.

Poster 7: Use of Resources Framework and Creative Problem-Solving Profile to Investigate 1H NMR Problem-Solving Performance of Undergraduate Students #MICER22

Sujani K. Gamage, Suazette R. Mooring

Here, we report a qualitative study conducted to investigate how students approach solving problems related to proton NMR. Fourteen undergraduate students enrolled in the second-semester organic chemistry course at a southeastern university in the United States were involved in this study. The data was collected using think-aloud interviews on various NMR tasks.

Poster 8: Technology Enhanced learning through ICE (Interactive Chemistry Experiments)-Student engagement through partnership

L. Milian (Chemistry), N Fern (Digital Learning Team), Haijing Wang
& Jake Pugsley (Student Developers), Beth Henderson (3rd year
PhD Chemistry student), Charles Tkaczyk (2nd year PhD
Chemistry student).
#MICER22

Our ongoing project seeks to improve the preparation of level two student chemists for lab experiments.  We are working with student developers to codesign interactive digital learning interventions to allow for pre-lab rehearsal of procedures and revision of underlying chemistry.  The project will include a range of outputs such as a lab tour, equipment tours and usage guides, and interactive simulations of the experiment steps.  The development phase of the project concludes in September 2022, with evaluation taking place with the 2022-23 cohort.

Poster 9: How to develop the questionnaire for interpreting chemical equations through the system thinking loop #MICER22

Asih Widi Wisudawati and Hans-Dieter Barke

The system thinking lens is one of the breakthroughs in meaningful chemistry
learning that might improve student engagement in solving environmental
problems. Several efforts have been conducted to infuse system thinking into
chemistry learning and its materials. The development of the learning
material, however, especially diagnostic instruments for start-ups, remains
open. Further, this study provides a questionnaire developed by 4C
(Characterize, Construct, Cultivate, and Circulate) methods. The instrument
might be potential for starting learning or laboratory activities. This tool aimed
to reveal students’ mental models of interpreting chemical equations at the
particle level. Thinking at the molecular level is a prerequisite of system
thinking. Three primary system thinking skills were adapted from CHEMIST
tools by York and Orgill (2020) to address eight chemical equations. As a
result, three developed skills in interpreting chemical equations are (1)
recognizing the system as a whole by the ability to investigate all species within
chemical equations; (2) examining the relationship between parts of the
system and their interconnection by the ability to identify particle interaction;
(3) identifying variable that causes system behavior by the ability to determine
whether proton or electron transferred.

Poster 10: An exploration of how different student groups experience General Chemistry and factors that influence these experiences #MICER22

Oluwatobi Odeleye, Parsa Lessani and Diya Tang

General chemistry is a gateway course that students from several STEM-related majors take at the beginning of their college career. Faced with high rates of students and even higher rates of students minoritized due to ethnicity/race leaving STEM majors, we explored how a general chemistry course influenced students’ interests towards science. In this study, we examined students’ perceptions towards science before and after taking a first-semester and a second-semester general chemistry course (CHEM 1 and CHEM 2). We specifically focused on attitude difference (anxiety towards science, self-belief in science abilities and perceived value of science) in students from various ethnic groups in the pre- and post- surveys. We found that students in CHEM 1 and CHEM 2 held generally positive views towards science, regardless of race/ethnicity. The main factors that influenced students’ perceptions were the course instructors and the course teaching assistants. This poster session will discuss the methods we used (including how factor analyses were used to create valid and reliable survey instruments) and why we used these methods. We hope our findings can shed light on future pedagogies in general chemistry, which can increase the success rates of underprepared students (who are often students minoritized due to race/ethnicity) in science related fields.

Poster 11: Multiple Case Study Analysis in CER to Investigate Mindset #MICER22

Deborah L. Santos and Suazette R. Mooring

Multiple case studies are an underutilized method of research in chemistry education. Other STEM education fields have published frequently using this study design. It is beneficial for understanding the different ways a phenomenon can present itself across different cases. In the absence of well-defined theory, this deep qualitative investigative approach can shed light on the phenomenon or construct of interest and potentially support theory development. Our recent study will be presented as an example. We have used a multiple case analysis approach to examine how mindset influences student experiences in chemistry and to gain a deeper understanding of the different types of mindsets students can hold toward chemistry while taking undergraduate introductory courses.

Poster 12: Quick-Guide to Mobile Eye-Tracking in Chemistry Education Research #MICER22

Irina Braun, Axel Langner, Nicole Graulich

Our eyes play a crucial role while we learn and process information, as most information is taken in via the visual sensory channel. Based on the assumption that visual attention and cognitive processing are linked, recording learners’ eye movements can help drawing inferences about learners’ cognitive processes, their problem-solving or visual search strategies. Due to the insights that eye-tracking can offer with regard to learning processes, it has become a valuable research tool in various disciplines (e.g., psychology or educational science) in recent years.

In chemistry education research, screen-based eye-tracking has been used, for example, to investigate learners’ problem-solving strategies or to study the effects of instructional interventions. However, screen-based eye-tracking measurements are limited in terms of the interaction with the stimulus, for example when tracking students’ eye gaze in real experiment settings. This obstacle can be overcome with mobile eye-trackers. So far, mobile eye-tracking has not been used in chemistry education research, although wearable eye-tracking glasses could be utilized in many chemistry education related fields of application (e.g., laboratory work, drawings) as they give learners the freedom to move and interact naturally. However, implementing this method in research projects can be challenging as the handling of mobile eye-trackers differs enormously from that of screen-based eye-trackers. The poster presents steps interested researchers should take when applying mobile eye-tracking in research projects in terms of study planning, setup, and data analysis. Within the poster session, we discuss chances and limitations concerning this methodology, and provide tips for conducting studies with wearable eye-tracking glasses.

Poster 13: Self-assessment in practical classes (engaging with students through assessment) #MICER22

Litka Milian

Self-assessment can be a very useful tool in engaging with students. It helps to build student-staff partnership and allows students to reflect on their learning process, identify strengths and weaknesses and build confidence (1, 2). We used self-assessment in practical classes to see its effectiveness and look at potential influential factors such as gender, fee status and POLAR score.

Poster 14: Using an Action Camera to Capture Authentic 1st-Person Perspective #MICER22

Elizabeth W. Kelley

Action cameras capture video data from the 1st-person viewpoint of the wearer.  Such data is especially useful when conducting research in real-world environments, when participants are engaged in complex hands-on tasks, when collecting naturalistic observational data, and/or when using a phenomenological methodology.  The details of using an action camera for data collection are described herein with practical tips for implementation.

Poster 15: Examining cognitive engagement in group activities through three lenses #MICER22

Safaa Y. El-Mansy, Jack Barbera, and Alissa J. Hartig

Group learning activities have been correlated with improvements in students’ academic performance. While there are a number of possible reasons for this improvement, students’ cognitive engagement (i.e., students’ effort towards mastering the concepts presented) may affect the observed relation. This project analyzes cognitive engagement through three different lenses, each representing a different level of resolution at which one could monitor engagement within a learning activity. Engagement was coded at the 1) question level (based on the prompts in the activity worksheet), 2) the group response level (based on the group conversation to answer each question), and 3) the individual student level (based on each individual student’s statements within a group response). The Interactive-Constructive-Active-Passive (ICAP) framework, which categorizes cognitive engagement at four different modes, was used to identify engagement at each of these levels.

Codes at the question and group response levels were compared, and discrepancies in these codes were identified. Such discrepancies suggest that students are not engaging with activities at the levels intended by the designers and examination of students’ cognitive engagement should be based on the content of the group conversation, not the activity itself. Examination of the individual level codes of each student in a group found that the students may all engage at different ICAP modes, and these modes may not match the group response mode of engagement. This result may indicate that group dynamics can influence to what degree students engage in group learning activities.

Poster 16: Researching STEM policy by engaging with key stakeholders #MICER22

Dr Victoria Wong

Science education policy, and the political and cultural reasons for that policy are often ignored in education research, although science education is one of the most contested aspects of the school curriculum, with multiple stakeholders presenting demands.  Who these stakeholders are and the role that they play changes over time. 

This research aimed to try to understand stakeholders’ perspectives on formal STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education policy.  The key question was:

What are the purposes and underlying philosophies of STEM education policy in England?

Most research on STEM education has focussed on how it is interpreted in schools; this study is unique in its focus on those who were charged with making and enacting STEM policy at a national level.

I will describe the reputational snowball – a powerful method for identifying membership, connectivity and boundaries of what is a relatively small policy network – and how I used it to identify membership of this network and explore the views of those involved.

Poster 17: OpenSTEM Africa: creating onscreen tools to teach practical chemistry at scale #MICER22

Maria Velasco, Sarah Davies & Kerry Murphy

Improving access to STEM education is viewed globally as a route to economic empowerment. OpenSTEM Africa is a collaboration between The Open University and government partners in Ghana to co-create virtual instruments, onscreen immersive laboratory experiences and virtual worlds to support the teaching and learning of the practical sciences in Senior High Schools. The poster focusses on applications developed to support the teaching of practical chemistry.

#MICER22 Programme and Birds of a Feather session

MICER22 programme is now being finalised and the details are below. Registration is now open at this link.

Posters

Participants are welcome to submit poster to present in either Poster Session 1 or 2. We will randomly allocate poster sessions unless you wish to present in a particular one (e.g. due to timezones). Please let us know. Poster details are here.

Birds of a Feather

We are keen to incorporate some “chat” and networking in the meeting. Therefore we have timetabled a “Birds of a Feather” session in which participants can join a breakout room and discuss a particular topic of interest. This could include informal sharing, discussions, or just chat. There will be a “social” BoAF session, but please email in if you would like to host others. Typical topics might include “Researching equity and inclusion” or “Organic Chemistry Education Research”. Conversations can continue in an optional section at the end of the programme.

Programme

The main event of course is the invited speakers and the schedule is below. Typically for MICER, participants read the assigned pre-reading prior to the meeting, as this allows presenters get straight into the interesting bits about methods. All times are British Summer Time (BST).


Fri 20th May 2022

11 – 11.45                           Poster Session 1

11.45 – 12.00                     Welcome and Intro

12.00 – 12.40                     Demet Kirbulut and Joshua Reid

Pre-reading: Reid, J. W., Kirbulut Gunes, Z. D., Fateh, S., Fatima, A., Macrie-Shuck, M., Nennig, H. T., … & Talanquer, V. (2022). Investigating patterns of student engagement during collaborative activities in undergraduate chemistry courses. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 23, 173-188. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2022/rp/d1rp00227a

Session focus on methods to explore engagement in group activity in class

12.40 – 12.45                     Screen break

12.45 – 1.25                       Richard Blackburn, Russ Kitson, and Bo Kelestyn

Pre-reading: Greaves, R., Kelestyn, B., Blackburn, R. A., & Kitson, R. R. (2021). The Black Student Experience: Comparing STEM Undergraduate Student Experiences at Higher Education Institutions of Varying Student Demographic. Journal of Chemical Education99(1), 56-70. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00402

Session focus on evaluating student experience, especially the optimisation of Heron’s methodology.

1.25 – 1.55                          Birds of a Feather – informal networking by theme

1.55 – 2.10                          Break

2.10 – 2.50                          Jack Barbera and Nicole Naibert

Pre-reading: Naibert, N., & Barbera, J. (2022). Development and Evaluation of a Survey to Measure Student Engagement at the Activity Level in General Chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c01145

Session focus on implementation and interpretation of student engagement instrument

2.50 – 3.00                          Screen break

3 – 3.45                                 Poster Session 2               

3.45                                        Wrap up/optional BoAF


#MICER22 Registration and Poster Information

Registration (registration deadline 6 May 2022)

Registration for MICER is now open. Registration is £15 for general attendees and £5 for students & unwaged. You can register at Eventbrite at the link following. Please ensure your email address used in registration is one which you will be able to access Zoom link.

Joining instructions and Zoom link will be sent after 9th May 2022.

Programme

We are currently assembling our programme. Speakers will share qualitative and quantitative methods associated with student engagement as displayed in recent publications relating to CER. We anticipate the programme running from 11 AM to 4 PM British Summer Time (BST).

Posters (submission deadline 6 May 2022)

We will host an online poster session as in previous years, with poster attendees submitting their poster in advance for hosting on the website, and then discussing it in a dedicated poster session. Each poster presenter will have a dedicated breakout room where they can present their poster to attendees. We intend to have two sessions, so that presenters can both present their poster and view others.

Posters should align with a general theme of chemistry education research and preferably emphasise methods. Please send your poster to Dr Bunmi Ibrahim: bunmi.ibrahim@dmu.ac.uk to include the following:

  1. A PDF of your poster – we will link to this to give readers a high resolution version of your work. Please consider accessibility in your poster design. This website shares some useful guidance, including the ability to order your panels for text-to-speech screen readers.
  2. A JPG of your poster – these are most easily produced by choosing Save As and making file type .jpg. We will use this to show your poster on the website.
  3. A short text summary introducing your poster – why should people come to your breakout room?

Please submit your poster by 6th May 2022. By submitting your poster, you are agreeing to have it displayed on the MICER website. Posters from previous years are visible on the archived home pages, linked in turn at the bottom of this page.

#MICER22 Save the Date

Happy to relate that #MICER22 will be going ahead and we have scheduled it for Fri 20th May, held online. This year it will be a smaller affair, focussing particularly on education research methods associated with student engagement. We’re currently putting together the schedule and will be releasing booking information next month. You can subscribe to this website to keep up to date with announcements.

MICER22 will also include an online poster session with posters welcome on any aspect of chemistry education research, particularly focussing on methods. Details of poster sessions will be released with call for registration.

Please do mark Fri 20th May on your calendars and we hope you can join us on the day.

Michael Seery and Bunmi Ibrahim, MICER22 Co-Chairs