Minimal impact of organic chemistry prerequisite on student performance in introductory biochemistry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Curriculum design assumes that successful completion of prerequisite courses will have a positive impact on student performance in courses that require the prerequisite. We recently had the opportunity to test this assumption concerning the relationship between completion of the organic chemistry prerequisite and performance in introductory biochemistry. We found no statistically significant differences between average biochemistry grades or grade distribution among students with or without the organic chemistry prerequisite. However, students who had not completed the organic chemistry prerequisite before biochemistry were more likely to withdraw from the course than those who had completed the prerequisite. In contrast to the lack of correlation between performance in biochemistry and completion of organic chemistry, we observed a strong, highly significant positive relationship between cumulative GPA and the biochemistry grade. Our data suggest that excluding students without organic chemistry would have less positive impact on student success in biochemistry than would providing additional support for all students who enroll in biochemistry with a cumulative GPA below 2.5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-54
Number of pages11
JournalCBE Life Sciences Education
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

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Minimal impact of organic chemistry prerequisite on student performance in introductory biochemistry. / Wright, Robin; Cotner, Sehoya H; Winkel, Amy.

In: CBE Life Sciences Education, Vol. 8, No. 1, 01.03.2009, p. 44-54.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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