Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Kristen Murphy, Xiaohua Peng, Alan W Schwabacher, Nicholas R Silvaggi
IMPLEMENTATION OF READING INTERVENTIONS IN INTRODUCTORY CHEMISTRY AND ITS IMPACT ON STUDENT PERFORMANCE
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, 2023Under the Supervision of Professor Anja Blecking, PhD
Research studies conducted in disciplinary literacy in the last 15 years have shown that students' reading comprehension is as much a predictor of student success in college science courses as in students' math skills (O’Reilly & McNamara, 2007). However, college STEM programs often focus solely on teaching STEM content, assuming students' reading comprehension skills have been developed in high school. Thus, only a few examples of reading interventions for students in STEM programs have been reported.College-level science texts present distinctive challenges for students with lower reading skills and can significantly affect student comprehension of scientific content. This issue hits close to home since a significant portion of students who enroll in introductory chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) do not meet the college readiness reading level, which puts them at an immediate disadvantage. For the reasons above, this research's broader purpose is to help close this equity gap and create equal opportunities for success in introductory chemistry for students of various incoming reading abilities. In particular, this study investigates the impact of online pre-instruction reading assignments on student learning in introductory chemistry, as measured by student performance on the final exam. Focusing on the support of students with lower reading abilities, the design of my reading intervention draws from educational learning theories, instructional strategies (Alpanahi, 2014), and delivery methods known to be effective for lower performers (O’Reilly & McNamara, 2007). Aside from text manipulation using Lexile measures to create accessible text, this study also investigates student challenges based on visual images and graphs, difficulties that may affect students with lower reading abilities to a more significant extent (Erin et al., 2011; Mayer, 2009).
Diawara, Fatoumata, "Implementation of Reading Interventions in Introductory Chemistry and Its Impact on Student Performance" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 3255.