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Tan, D. K. C., Goh, N. K., Chia, L. S., & Treagust, D. F. (1999). The development of a two-tier multiple choice diagnostic instrument to identify secondary three and four students’ (14-17 years old) alternative conceptions in chemical bonding. In S. P. Loo (Ed.), Proceeds of the MERA-ERA Joint conference 1999: Educational Challenges in the New Millennium (pp. 640-647). Malacca, Malaysia.
Chemical bonding is a topic which many secondary students find difficult to understand. The concepts in chemical bonding are abstract; one cannot see an atom, its structure and how it reacts with other atoms. Therefore there is great potential for the formation of alternative conceptions as students try to derive meaning from what is written in the textbooks or what is said by the teacher. Thus teachers need to be able to detect and diagnose the alternative conceptions of their students so that they can challenge these alternative conceptions, and help the students to acquire scientifically acceptable ones. Methods used to determine students’ understanding of concepts include concept mapping (Novak, 1996), interviews (Carr, 1996) and multiple choice diagnostic instruments (Treagust, 1988, 1995). However, multiple choice diagnostic instruments are more readily administered and scored than the other methods, and thus are particularly useful for classroom teachers. This paper describes the development of a two-tier multiple choice diagnostic instrument to identify
Secondary Three and Four students’ alternative conceptions in basic chemical bonding.
This paper was published in the 1999 Proceedings of the MERA-ERA Joint Conference held at Malacca, Malaysia from 1-3 December 1999
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