ASM events
This conference is managed by the American Society for Microbiology
Table of contents
No headers


Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, structures, and student motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(3), 261-71. doi:10.1037//0022-0663.84.3.261

This article examines mastery versus performance goal orientations in the context of an academic classroom. The author explains what underlies these behaviors and what class structures are more apt to precipitate these two divergent orientations. This article serves as review for me and helps me start to think about how to construct my class to study the effect of mastery goal orientation and retention.  

Amaral, K.E., Shank, J.D., Shibley, I.A., Shibley, L.R. (2013). Web-Enhanced General Chemistry Increases Student Completion Rates, Success and Satisfaction. Journal of Chemical Education, 90(3), 296-302.


This article takes similar approaches to what I am investigating and has found that more interactive mobile based approaches have aided in decreasing the drop out rate of a historically difficult first year course.


Cortright, R. N., Collins, H. L., & DiCarlo, S. E. (2005). Peer instruction enhanced meaningful learning: Ability to solve novel problems. Advances in Physiology Education, 29(2), 107-111. doi:10.1152/advan.00060.2004

This article examines how peer instruction affects meaningful learning. The authors desired to see if the depth of learning that has been shown to occur in peer instruction situations can be transferred in new learning situations. Of interest to me was their cross over design. Due to relatively small classes and no multiple sections of courses, testing the effect of my interventions has been difficult. This design has the class act as an internal control. One group is allowed to do peer instruction and the other reflects on their own. At the midpoint of the semester those roles are reversed giving each group the chance to engage in peer instruction.  


Diegelman-Parente, A. (2011). The use of mastery learning with competency-based grading in an organic chemistry course. Journal of College Science Teaching, 40(5), 50-58.

This article is more descriptive in nature exploring one professor’s integration of mastery learning into her organic chemistry course. While the structure of how she uses mastery learning is helpful as I consider how to apply these concepts into my course, I resonated strongly with her initial discussion of what motivated her to move towards a Mastery learning design. Changing students’ view away from just studying for a grade and towards ownership over their learning is a challenging endeavor and she roots this transition in the literature of student motivation.


Doige, C. A. (2012). E-mail-based formative assessment: A chronicle of research-inspired practice. Journal of College Science Teaching, 41(6), 32-39.

The author of this article is a teacher of a general chemistry course and was motivated by students just wanting to earn an A to get them to their professional goal and not care about the learning. This sentiment and motivation are true for me as well. The author examines whether a student’s motivation can be changed by using regular formative assessment in his class aimed at students taking on more or a mastery goal mindset. The author collects data on students over a five year period and reports the trends he observed. While his data collection is not something I will use, I think I could add some additional surveys and measurements to better fit my research question. Both the structure and premise of this study were in line with what I desire to study.


Eskreis-Winkler L. Duckworth A.L., Shulman E.P. and Beal S.(2014). The grit effect: predicting retention in the military, the workplace, school and marriage. Front. Psychology 5:36. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00036

The Duckworth lab studies grit and self-control and have developed scales to quantify these traits in individuals. In this work, the authors seek to use these scales and other data on individuals from various places in society and see if they can statistical predict what factors are most critical in determining if someone will remain in their commitments. This work is interesting to me since I am examining how structures in my course affect retention of students in the STEM majors. If I can apply some of the scales and methodology used in this publication to predict a priori which students show low grit and then examine if my intervention can positively affect the retention of those these scales would predict to leave when things get tough.


Guskey, T. R. (2005). A historical perspective on closing achievement gaps. NASSP Bulletin, 89(644), 76-89. doi:10.1177/019263650508964405

This article reviews the development and application of Bloom's original conception of Mastery Learning. It encapsulates the Mastery Learning approach to a classroom, common misconceptions of this approach and  reviews the literature that show evidence of its effectiveness in decreasing the achievement gap found in every classroom. It is relevant to my work as the theoretical underpinnings of my question and helps provide the literature background for my work.


Lowry, R. (2005). Computer aided self-assessment - an effective tool. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 6(4), 197-203. doi:10.1039/B5RP90010G

The author of this paper describes his efforts on using Computer aided assessment to provide automated formative assessment to students directly following class. The class self-selected into two groups those who completed all of the modules and those who completed none of modules throughout the course of the semester. Then differences between the two groups were examined to measure the effect of the CAA. To control for the possibility that those who did the modules are the highly motivated and talented students he gave an unrelated module with no CAA support to get a baseline on the high performing students were. I liked this mode of data interpretation because I again don’t have the luxury of two identical sections of my course. So I need to have some internal way to examine the effect of my variable.


Sawtelle, V., Brewe, E., & Kramer, L. H. (2012). Exploring the relationship between self-efficacy and retention in introductory physics. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(9), 1096-1121. doi:10.1002/tea.21050

While I am still waiting to receive the pdf of this publication from the abstract it seems like a very good fit for my study design. The authors quantitatively measure the source of self-efficacy in students and found that it differs for the two genders. The connection that is relevant is that self-efficacy is tightly tied to persistence in STEM majors. Using some of the identified surveys and statistical processing of the data could aid in my study as well.


Shields, S.P.; Hogrebe, M.C.; Spees,W.M.; Handlin, L.B.; Noelken, G.P.; Riley, J.M.; Frey, R.F. (2012). A Transition Program for Underprepared Students in General Chemistry: Diagnosis, Implementation, and Evaluation. Journal of Chemical Education, (89)8, 995-1000.

This article is interesting in that they are addressing the same issue I have focused my project on, retention in the first year of general chemistry for the underprepared student, but took a different approach. They have developed a way to identify underprepared students and then through a series of interventions that the students voluntarily sign up for have shown help those students better perform in this course.

Tag page
You must login to post a comment.