Chemistry Student Tutoring Openness and Internet Searching for Homework

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Abstract: Healthcare students are more open to Chemistry tutoring—and tutoring in general—than Organic Chemistry Students.  Although both groups of students use Google to do homework they have difficulty in using that search engine.  Organic students find relative success in using Wolfram|Alpha for doing homework.

Introduction: A survey was taken of two classes of Chemistry students at a local private 2-year college.  A General/Organic/Biochemistry class (required coursework for healthcare students) and an Organic Chemistry class were surveyed. Its primary purpose was to evaluate chemistry student opinions regarding Internet searches and tutoring, with the objective of associating a search engine with online Chemistry tutoring.

Parameters: The sample sizes were n=17 in the Healthcare class and n=9 in the Organic Chemistry class.  The survey questions were prepared by this author and were administered in October 2015 by the student's instructor.

Results: Healthcare and Organic students, respectively:

• Went online for homework:        94% and 100%

o With Google:                      71% and 67%

o With Wolfram|Alpha:          12% and 44%

• Search engine use difficulty:

o Google:                              47% and 67%

o Siri:                                    18% and N/A

o Wolfram|Alpha:                  18% and (-11%)

• Would pay for tutoring:              71% and 33%

• Volunteer for P2P tutor:             41% and 22%

• History of being tutored:            71% and 11%

Discussion: There was one student that expressed favorably concerning Wolfram|Alpha and thus the negative difficulty rating. The P2P is an abbreviation for peer-to-peer tutoring.

Conclusions: Healthcare Chemistry students are much more open to tutoring than Organic Chemistry students.  The former are both seeking tutoring and have sought out tutoring in the past.  Their openness to tutoring would even lead many of them to volunteer-tutor their peers.

Nearly all students go online to do their homework.  But even though a large proportion of them use Google for their homework, they also have difficulty with that search engine.  The upper level students also use Wolfram|Alpha and have no difficulties with that search offering.

Organic Chemistry students would find a knowledge database available to them beneficial, but Healthcare students would likely not see the benefit.  But Organic students are less likely to seek tutoring.


The Knoll Hill Mountain, LLC – Chemistry Tutoring has a fully functional website ready for tutoring and is currently seeking Chemistry tutees.  Tutoring discounts are available.  A Knowledge Database API is ready for use on the website, but the queries to make it functional will only be purchased depending on which group of students seek out the tutoring platform.

The Innovator/Tutor, LLC member-manager is Paul R. Knoll, a Chemistry Masters degree graduate and National Tutoring Association member.  Paul has been an ACS member since 1999.