Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 7(4), pp. 986 - 1000
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2019.070410
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Post-secondary Science Students' Understanding on Mole Concept and Solution Concentration


Sheau Huey Chong 1,*, Norlia Goolamally 2, Kwan Eu Leong 3
1 Open University Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Malaysia
2 Open University Malaysia, Malaysia
3 University Malaya, Malaysia

ABSTRACT

Due to their abstract nature, the mole concept and solution concentration are difficult for students to understand and apply to stoichiometric calculations. This study was designed to investigate students' perceptions and difficulties in solving problems related to the mole concept and solution concentration. Thirty-eight students (18-19 years old) who were pursuing science related programmes from a private university college in Malaysia participated in the study. Students were asked to answer twenty-five open-ended questions on the mole concept and solution concentration. Analysis of students' responses revealed that they were not able to connect the mole concept with mass and number of particles. Students were also grappling to answer problems regarding concentration and dilution. This study suggests that it is important to determine whether students' difficulties to master the concepts are due to lack of knowledge or the presence of alternative frameworks so that so that pedagogical instruction can be modified. This study was part of a larger research project where students' responses on this open-ended test will be used to get a greater generalizability in order to construct the alternatives to the four-tier multiple choice (4TMC) instrument to identify students' alternative frameworks on these concepts.

KEYWORDS
Four-tier Multiple Choice Instrument, Alternative Frameworks, Stoichiometry, Macroscopic, Sub-microscopic

Cite this paper
Sheau Huey Chong , Norlia Goolamally , Kwan Eu Leong . "Post-secondary Science Students' Understanding on Mole Concept and Solution Concentration." Universal Journal of Educational Research 7.4 (2019) 986 - 1000. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2019.070410.