Asee peer logo

Understanding the Factors Influencing Student Participation in Supplemental Instruction in Freshman Chemistry

Download Paper |

Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Undergraduate Student Issues II

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

23.1281.1 - 23.1281.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22666

Download Count

24

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Kristen B. Coletti Northeastern University

visit author page

Kristen Coletti is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Northeastern University, majoring in chemical engineering and pursuing a minor in mathematics. Kristen is not only a chemistry tutor but has also worked at the MathWorks, Inc. In addition, she has held co-op positions at both Shaw Energy & Chemicals (now Technip) and EMD Serono Research Institute.

visit author page

biography

Melinda Covert Northeastern University

visit author page

Melinda Covert is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Northeastern University, studying chemical engineering and pursuing a minor in business administration. In addition to being a chemistry tutor, Melinda is a tutor for upperclass chemical engineering courses as well as student-athletes. She has held co-op positions at The Shaw Group (now Technip) and Dow Electronic Materials.

visit author page

biography

Paul A. DiMilla Northeastern University

visit author page

Paul A. DiMilla is an Associate Academic Specialist in Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. He received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, both in Chemical Engineering. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry at Harvard University prior to beginning his faculty career in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where he co-founded Automated Cell, Inc. He has been a Visiting Professor of Bioengineering at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering as well as a Visiting Scholar in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. He also has led R&D teams at Organogenesis Inc. and Polymerix Corporation developing tissue-engineered medical products and drug- generating biodegradable polymers, respectively. He has been the recipient of an Early Career Development Award from the NSF, a Searle Scholar Award, and the first Whitaker Young Investigator Award and is the inventor on seven issued US patents. He currently is the course coordinator for the freshman-level General Chemistry for Engineers as well as an instructor for Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics 1 and Chemical Engineering Kinetics at Northeastern. He also is the author of the recently-published textbook General Chemistry for Engineers.

visit author page

biography

Lauren Gianino Northeastern University

visit author page

Lauren Gianino graduated in May of 2012 from Northeastern University with a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering. During her time at Northeastern, she held three co-op positions at Lockheed Martin, 1366 Technologies, and Genzyme and completed a summer REU program at UC Berkeley in Bioengineering. Lauren is currently employed at EMD Millipore as a Quality Engineer.

visit author page

biography

Rachelle Reisberg Northeastern University

visit author page

Rachelle Reisberg is Assistant Dean for Engineering Enrollment and Retention as well as Director of Women in Engineering at Northeastern University. Prior to joining Northeastern University, Rachelle held a wide range of management positions in IBM, Hanover Insurance, and was the President of a high tech start-up company.

visit author page

biography

Emily Wisniewski Northeastern University

visit author page

Emily Wisniewski is a third-year undergraduate student at Northeastern University, majoring in chemical engineering and pursuing a minor in biochemical engineering. In addition to tutoring chemistry, she is involved in undergraduate bioengineering research at Northeastern University. She has held co-op positions at Biogen Idec and Seventh Sense Biosystems.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Understanding the Factors Influencing Student Participation in Supplemental Instruction in Freshman ChemistryAbstractThis study examines the factors that are most important from the perspective of a first yearengineering student in utilizing supplemental instruction in a required introductory course ingeneral chemistry. Prior studies have indicated a strong correlation between success in a courseand utilization of supplemental instruction, especially for students under-represented inengineering. Supplemental instruction includes peer tutoring, instructor office hours, reviewsessions, study groups, and other programs to assist students outside of the classroom. Based onthe demonstrated success of supplemental instruction programs developed for women inengineering, the College of Engineering at ___________ University expanded the programs toall engineering freshmen (male and female). Review sessions for a course in general chemistryfor engineers led by upper-class women tutors studying chemical engineering were particularlysuccessful. Tutors attended instructors’ chemistry lectures and served as role models to supportand encourage freshmen in this challenging first year course. Although the program has been runsuccessfully for a number of years, with typically 60% of female engineering freshmen enrolledin chemistry attending, the team of tutors, course coordinator, and program advisors sought toincrease student participation. Our current research is directed towards understanding whatcauses students to utilize supplemental instruction.To understand the factors influencing student participation in supplemental instruction, first yearengineering students in the Fall 2012 offering of General Chemistry for Engineers were asked tocomplete a survey at the beginning and again at the end of the semester. For most students thissemester is their first in college. A total of 336 students (64 females and 272 males) completedthe initial survey for a response rate of 78% (i.e. 336 survey participants out of 430 total studentsenrolled in the first year chemistry course). The pre-survey included questions about a student’sprevious experience with tutoring in high school and his/her likelihood to utilize extra resourcesat the college level. It also included questions to uncover the “trigger point” at which a studentdecides they will seek additional help. Not surprisingly, women had a higher trigger thresholdthan men (B- for women versus C+ for men on average). There were also gender differences inthe factors that were reported as being most important in utilizing supplemental instruction.Women indicated that tutors’ friendliness was among the most important factors, whereas menranked tutors’ availability and ability to explain the material as most important. Both gendersindicated that empathy was a key factor when it came to tutoring.This paper presents the results of pre- and post-surveys as well as analysis based on gender andprior experiences. We identify correlations among use of supplemental instruction, attitudestowards chemistry, success in freshman General Chemistry for Engineers, and overall success inthe College of Engineering program.

Coletti, K. B., & Covert, M., & DiMilla, P. A., & Gianino, L., & Reisberg, R., & Wisniewski, E. (2013, June), Understanding the Factors Influencing Student Participation in Supplemental Instruction in Freshman Chemistry Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22666

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015