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Experiment Improves Chemistry Grades

March 02, 2011

An experiment by two Darton professors has led to improved chemistry grades.

The “tough chemistry” stereotype seems to be a thing of the past – at least at Darton College, where Dr. Galina Soboleva, assistant professor of chemistry, recognized the root cause of students’ failure in chemistry. The answer is surprisingly simple – algebra! Even when students do well in algebra classes, they are not necessarily successful in chemistry because they accept algebra and chemistry separately and do not see the connection between the two subjects.

Along with Assistant Professor of Mathematics Bradley Young, Dr. Soboleva developed a program of “Algebraic Chemistry” and implemented weekly workshops for chemistry students. The team effort resulted in significantly higher performance/grades, and the students gained self-confidence in chemistry within just one semester.

Soboleva and Young plan to enhance the outcome from the “Algebraic Chemistry” project by converting the program to tutorial videos that will be incorporated into a WebCT support page for every chemistry class. The professors and students are confident that the “Algebraic Chemistry” program will significantly impact the overall performance and retention rate of college students.

For more information on the experiment, contact Dr. Galina Soboleva at galina.soboleva@darton.edu or Brad Young at bradley.young@darton.edu.

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