Student Impacts: Fall in Love with Chemistry

Students using Aktiv Chemistry overwhelmingly report a positive learning experience that improved their understanding and interest in chemistry.

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A recent survey of college students who used Aktiv Chemistry (formerly known as Chem101) in the Fall of 2021 received nearly 6,200 students responses, representing 446 different colleges and universities across North America. Overwhelmingly, the students expressed the many ways they benefited from their experience with the Aktiv Chemistry learning platform.

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Super User Experience

Whether comparing Aktiv Chemistry to technology from traditional publishers or telling us what they like and don’t like, the majority of students complimented the platform’s UI, ease-of-use, clear organization, and intuitive interactivity.

  • “I liked how interactive it was, not like most homework.” [General Chemistry student, Catawba College]
  • “I liked the ease of use, and it was less frustrating than other platforms.”  [Organic Chemistry student, Texas A&M University]
  • “It helped me stay motivated and do my work!” [Introductory Chemistry student, California State University – Channel Islands
 
Homework began to feel more like a game. I liked working my way through problems...The hints were helpful if I was wrong...I worked on a different online homework system for physics and it wouldn't tell you anything except that you were wrong. It left you thinking maybe you did the entire problem wrong or had the wrong approach, when really it was as simple as adding two values incorrectly.
Kaitlin S.
Student at Columbia University

Impact on Learning

From the visual activities to the pedagogical feedback, the interactive questions to the mobile-first design — students identified many aspects of Aktiv Chemistry that improved their learning, engagement, and interest in chemistry. 

Since the experience of problem-solving on the platform was a pleasure, students found themselves focusing more as they worked. They attested to spending more time on their assignments and optional practice problem sets. The more time they spent, the more they understood, the more confident they became and the more enthusiastic they grew about chemistry and STEM learning more generally. 

 

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Interactive Questions

 
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 77% of students who experienced interactive (scaffolded) questions on dimensional analysis agreed these question types helped them master the concept. Molecular drawing functionality had an even greater impact, with 89% of students agreeing that the Lewis structure drawing feature improved their understanding, and 78% of Organic Chemistry students crediting AktivGrid molecular drawing with improving their learning.

  • “It encouraged me to learn more and kept me engaged.” [GOB Chemistry student, University of Southern Mississippi]
  • “I love the way it lays out questions and gives a good visual repetition of dimensional analysis and drawing Lewis structures is so simple.” [General Chemistry student, Colorado State University-Fort Collins]
  • “It made learning and homework assignments more interactive and easier to understand and retain.” [Organic Chemistry student, The Sage Colleges] 
"I LOVED using Aktiv Chemistry for all of the amazing features such as the different ways to complete problems using [drag-and-drop] and making Lewis structures.”¹
GOB Chemistry student, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Meeting Current Student Needs 

Today’s students feel pulled in many different directions. They may be working, commuting, and distracted by multiple commitments and concerns. That’s why Aktiv Chemistry offers a mobile-first design, auto-email assignment reminders, and a frustration-free experience free of downtime and constant glitches.

Students were especially appreciative of the platform’s mobile-first design. Forty-eight percent (2,692) of the students regularly accessed the product on their smartphones, noting that the Aktiv Chemistry native mobile app helped them to complete assignments ‘on time,’ ‘learn on the go,’ ‘study whenever and wherever’ ‘when I don’t have my laptop.’ Students also remarked upon the seamless transition from working on one device to another, and expressed a preference for in-class problem-solving on their phones and tablets.

"I LOVED the fact that I could do it on my phone. Felt like a game."
Organic Chemistry student, Texas A&M University

 

Student respondents represent a range of backgrounds and experiences. Three-quarters were taking in-person classes, 24% were learning fully online and the remaining 3% were in hybrid courses. Most (86%) were required to take their fall chemistry class as part of their major, though only 8% are chemistry majors and 2.5% are chemical engineering majors. 64% had taken a chemistry course in high school and just under 10% had never taken a chemistry course before this fall. 

Students answered questions about their course format and components, about the resources that helped (and didn’t help) them learn, and the ways their school tutoring services and discussion/recitation sections could be improved.

Stay tuned for more data from our chemistry student survey. Fill out the form below to be the first to see the full report! 

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¹ This page may contain direct quotes that were provided at a time where Aktiv Chemistry was named Chem101. We have replaced the name Chem101 with Aktiv Chemistry to minimize confusion.

About the Faculty

Aktiv Chemistry provides a powerful and yet flexible platform for online summative assessments. Take advantage of over 15,000 built-in chemistry problems, optional integrated proctoring, question pools and algorithmic variables, LMS grade syncing, and much more.

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