Date of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Marcy H Towns

Committee Member 1

George M. Bodner

Committee Member 2

Shelley Claridge

Committee Member 3

Suzanne C. Bart


In this study, we look at students' objectives and strategies for completing their objectives for undergraduate labs. Students across two universities and three levels of chemistry were surveyed at the beginning of the semester in the fall of 2012 using an open ended survey to identify the goals students had for the course. The students responses were coded and used to create a survey that went out to the same courses at the end of the fall semester. Using data from the fall of 2012, the survey was modified and data was collected in the fall of 2013 at one university in two different general chemistry classes. Data and analysis indicate that students focus primarily on earning a good grade over other goals and use achievement strategies that align with this goal which aligned with the expectations of the research team as well as Edmondson and Novak (1993).