Analyzing Factors for First Semester General Chemistry Student Success at the University of Central Oklahoma

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Ren Jian Lee
Alkin Huggins
Amanda L. Waters
Eric S. Eitrheim
Tyler Cook


Student success in the first semester of general chemistry is crucial for not only STEMmajors, but also all student’s basic scientific understanding. The University of Central Oklahoma(UCO) Department of Chemistry, like many other regional universities, observes a historicallyhigh D, F, and Withdrawal (DFW) rate in this course. In order to address this DFW rate andincrease student success and therefore retention, we implemented a presentation on metacognitivelearning strategies during the course. Furthermore, we analyzed numerous variables that may affectthe success of first semester general chemistry students using departmental and university dataincluding the use of this presentation. This was compared to prior semesters, which did not receivethis presentation. This presentation focused on learning strategies and study techniques that canbe practically applied in the class. We fit a multiple linear regression model and a random forestmodel using these variables to predict the students’ percentile on their final standardized AmericanChemical Society (ACS) General Chemistry First Term Exam. Neither model indicated that thepresentation had a statistically significant effect on ACS exam percentile, while the Math ACT scorehad the largest effect.

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