Thesis Title

The Effectiveness of Using Conceptual Change Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to Address Misconceptions in Introductory Chemistry Courses

Date of Graduation

Summer 2004


Master of Science in Chemistry



Committee Chair

Bryan Breyfogle


misconceptions, active learning, lecture methods, demonstrations, stoichiometry, conservation of matter

Subject Categories



The objectives of this study were to develop interactive lecture demonstrations (ILD) based on conceptual change learning theory and test the effectiveness of the ILDs. Experimental instruction was designed for an introductory chemistry course for nonmajors to address misconceptions related to the conservation of matter (COM) and stoichiometry. The effectiveness of the ILD instruction was determined via a quasi-experimental comparison with traditional demonstration instruction and lecture instruction. Student improvement was measured as a difference between pretest and posttest scores on multiple choice and free response assessments. Results of this study indicate students in all groups showed similar improvement on multiple choice assessments. Students in the ILD group showed greater improvement on the free response assessment than the demonstration group. Students in the ILD section did not score significantly higher than the lecture group on the (COM) assessment. This result was explained by an impromptu interactive section during the instruction in the lecture section. However, the ILD section scored significantly higher than the lecture section on the stoichiometry unit. As a result, students' performance on the free response assessments was significantly affected by the amount of interactivity in the course. Chemical demonstrations alone did not contribute significantly to student learning. Students felt that interactivity helped them learn chemistry and improved communication in the course. Students in the interactive group did not feel that the demonstrations helped their learning, in spite of their entertainment value.


© Crystal A. Wood