How do general chemistry students’ impressions, attitudes, perceived learning, and course performance vary with the arrangement of homework questions and E-text? Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Two large sections of first-semester general chemistry were assigned to use different homework systems. One section used MindTap, a Cengage Learning product, which presents short sections of the textbook with embedded homework questions; such that students could read the textbook section then answer one or more questions in the same screen. The other section used Online Web Learning (OWL-version 2) also from Cengage Learning, which presents homework questions that contains links to open the textbook in a separate window. Findings showed no difference between the groups in any course grades, with both groups strongly indicating that they learned from their system. During a second-semester chemistry course taught by the same instructor, all students used OWLv2. At the end of the second semester, students who had used MindTap during the first semester were given a delayed survey, containing Likert-scaled and open-response questions dealing with students' perceived learning/perceived level of understanding with each system, how easy each system was to use, and the advantages/disadvantages of each system. In addition, students were asked to compare the two systems giving their homework preference. Students were heavily positive towards the MindTap system. Further data was collected to compare students who used MindTap for the first semester and OWL for the second-semester with those who used the systems in reverse order, using the same survey. Results showed that students indicated significantly higher perceived learning with MindTap and better attitudes and opinions of MindTap, with its single window arrangement, often citing that they read more with MindTap.

altmetric score

  • 2.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Williamson, V. M., & Zumalt, C. J.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Williamson, Vickie M||Zumalt, Caitlin J

publication date

  • January 2017