A Biology and Chemistry Primer for Undergraduate Students
VolumeJASETD Volume 3 Issue 2 2018
IssnISSN 2309-0936
AuthorsTayebwa, R.*, Wozei, E., Kizza-Nkambwe, S., Gurley, T., Birikadde, G., Kimono, D., and Nakayenga, J.
Article TypeResearch Paper
Article SectionScience
First PublishedFebruary 2019

Abstract

A Biology and Chemistry Primer for Undergraduate Students (ABACUS-1) is a project that has so far developed a General Chemistry Primer which introduces basic chemistry concepts and integrated relevant practical experiments to allow a refresher for Undergraduate students and enhance better performance in science related courses regardless of pre-university subjects studied. Data on applicants’ education background, enrolment and performance was obtained from the Uganda Christian University Faculty of Science and Technology and Admissions Office. Chemistry experts developed ten chapters of the Primer that was made available to students as a reference text. Feedback was obtained in a structured Knowledge, Attitude and Practice survey. Continuous performance tracking was done on tests and exams of students with whom the Primer was piloted. Data was analysed using SPSS and Microsoft Excel 2010. In the 2013/14 Bachelor of Environmental Science (BES) cohort, 3 out of 15 students had sat for Advanced Level Chemistry, 53 % of the students in this program scored below 70% in General Chemistry course unit and all scored above 65% in Environmental Chemistry I before piloting the Primer. After piloting the Primer, 80% of the students in BES program that did not sit for Advanced Level Chemistry scored above 65% in Environmental Chemistry II. In the 2013/14 Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering (BSCEE) cohort, 26 out of 74 students had sat for Advanced Level Chemistry, 81% of these scored above 71% in Environmental Chemistry I and 4 students who scored below 65% did not sit for Advanced Level Chemistry. After piloting the Primer, 74 % of the students in the BSCEE program who did not sit for Advanced Level Chemistry scored above 65%. The Primer could have increased the confidence of the students who did not sit for Advanced Level Chemistry thus boosting students’ education and training.

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