The Effect of Systemic Synthesis Questions [SSynQs] on Students’ Performance and Meaningful Learning in Secondary Organic Chemistry Teaching

  • Tamara N. HrinEmail author
  • Dušica D. Milenković
  • Mirjana D. Segedinac


Many studies in the field of chemical education have emphasized the fact that students at secondary level have considerable difficulties in mastering organic chemistry contents. As a result, they choose to learn these contents in a “rote” way. Taking this fact into consideration, the first aim of our study was to help students in overcoming the aforementioned difficulties by applying new instructional tools—systemic synthesis questions [SSynQs]. To achieve the aim of our research, an experiment with two parallel groups was conducted. The experimental group was taught using [SSynQs] and the control group was taught using a traditional approach. The study included 65 students, 41 males, and 24 females, aged between 17 – 18 years. All the students attended the same high school and were taught by the instructions of the same teacher. The results showed that students from the experimental group achieved higher scores on the final testing than students from the control group. This confirmed the fact that application of [SSynQs] in the educational process improves students’ meaningful learning in organic chemistry domain. Additionally, after conducting an exploratory factor analysis of the obtained data, [SSynQs] were characterized as highly effective tools for assessing students’ meaningful understanding. Furthermore, our study has highlighted and connected two applications of [SSynQs] in the chemistry educational process. Firstly as an instructional tool and secondly as an assessment tool. The important task for future research would be to evaluate a third application of [SSynQs] as a diagnostic tool.


Assessment tool Instructional tool Meaningful learning and understanding Organic chemistry Student’s performance Systemic synthesis questions [SSynQs] 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia under Grant number 47003.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOC 317 kb)


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Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamara N. Hrin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dušica D. Milenković
    • 1
  • Mirjana D. Segedinac
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Environmental ProtectionUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia

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