LOGICAL REASONING: RESEARCH ON THE INFLUENCE OF THIS SKILL ON THE ACADEMIC GRADES OF THE STUDENTS AT THE CHEMISTRY DEGREE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA

I. Angurell1, R. Reigada2, M. Sarret2, R. Gargallo3, E. Nicolás1, J.A. Farrera1, M. Corbella1

1Department of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
2Department of Materials Science and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
3Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Barcelona (SPAIN)
The ability to develop and apply logical reasoning to draw conclusions from a data set is an important competence for scientific and technical undergraduate degrees, as is the case of a Chemistry program. In this sense, by using this competence the students must be able to analyse the data and conclude which information is relevant for the conclusions to be drawn.

Here, we report a research carried out to evaluate the level exhibited on logical reasoning by the Chemistry undergraduate students at the University of Barcelona. With this purpose, we designed a test consisting on five exercises with questions based on short arguments, not necessarily about Chemistry. Students at different courses took the test with the objective of analysing the evolution of this competence during the degree. We also evaluated possible correlations between the test results and the University Access Test (UAT) average grade and undergraduate average grade.

The analysis of each one of the five questions revealed different observations that deserve attention. Thus, the average grade of the test was over 5, with more than 15% of the students obtaining a grade equal or higher than 8 (scale 0 to 10). On the other hand, the worst results were obtained in the question where a more elaborate analysis of the data was necessary. Moreover, the global analysis of the test grades showed a clear positive correlation with the undergraduate average grades. Finally, the students that follow the highest progression rate (60 credits per year) answered the test more successfully than those with a lower rate.