Diagnostic Instrument To Determine A-level Students’ Understanding Of Ionisation Energy

Diagnostic Instrument To Determine A-level Students’ Understanding Of Ionisation Energy



Daniel Tan, Goh Ngoh Khang & Chia Lian Sai

National Institute of Education


Keith S. Taber

University of Cambridge


Monograph: February, 2005, ISBN: 981 - 05 - 2995 – 3


Abstract

Previous research has shown that A-level students in the United Kingdom had difficulty understanding the concepts involved in ionisation energy. This report describes the development and administration of a two-tier multiple choice diagnostic instrument on ionisation energy to determine if A-level students (16 to 19 years old) in Singapore had similar alternative conceptions as their counterparts in the United Kingdom, as well as explore their understanding of the trend of ionisation energy across Period 3. The results showed that students in Singapore applied the same octet rule framework and conservation of force thinking to explain the factors influencing ionisation energy as the students in the United Kingdom. In addition to the above alternative frameworks, many students in Singapore also resorted to relation-based reasoning to explain the trend of ionisation energy across Period 3 elements. The authors believed that the way ionisation energy was taught by teachers and presented in textbooks could be the cause of students’ difficulties in understanding ionisation energy. Teachers and textbooks need to focus explicitly on the effects of nuclear charge, the distance of the electron from the nucleus, the repulsion/screening effect of the other electrons present, and the interplay between these factors to explain the factors influencing ionisation energy and the trend in ionisation energy across period 3.


Free download

Full text may be downloaded here:

external link: Tan, Goh, Chia & Taber (2005). Development of a Two-Tier Multiple Choice Diagnostic Instrument to Determine A-Level Students’ Understanding of Ionisation Energy.pdf

Copyright

The text is the copyright of the authors, but is available for 'fair use' in teaching, scholarship and research.



Acknowledgement

This research was funded by the Academic Research Fund, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (RP 8/00 TKC)







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external link: Exploring Conceptual Learning, Integration and Progression in Science Education

Dr Keith S Taber: kst24@cam.ac.uk

University of Cambridge Faculty of Education

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