Choice of Study Resources in General Chemistry by Students Who Have Little Time to Study

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Journal of Chemical Education

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Students with an insufficient amount of time to study are becoming more prevalent in the general college population as many who enroll in college have competing responsibilities (full-time jobs, childcare, etc.). Such students are likely to choose study resources that they consider to be both effective and efficient. Students at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) are constrained in their study time because of their required course load and competing institutional daily requirements. The purpose of this study was to survey which resources students at USNA choose for studying and to look at the difference in choice in relation to different types of assessments and different student achievement levels in chemistry. Students (n = 1015) were surveyed four times during the Fall 2013 semester after both instructor-written assessments and departmental multiple-choice common exams. In these surveys, students reported the main study resource they used to prepare for each assessment. A subset of students (n = 57) was interviewed soon after completing the third survey to better understand how the students used the resources they reported choosing. The results show a difference in study resources chosen depending on the type of assessment (instructor-written or common exam) and final course achievement level of the student. Application of these results to a broader audience of students who also have multiple time commitments may help chemical educators better format both the availability and content of chemistry study resources to help students of different achievement levels succeed in general chemistry.


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