Effect of Handedness on the Completion Rate of Chemistry Timed Tasks by Left-Handed Learners


Handedness affects left-handers’ performance generally and specifically during laboratory work in chemistry. This is because of learning difficulties associated with handling and manipulating right-handed instructional resources. The study aimed at investigating whether left-handed learners’ use of right handed instructional resources has any significant effect on task completion rate in chemistry. Data was collected from 17-20 year old left- and right-handed students of chemistry (N=22) from a Kenyan secondary school during a timed task. On- and off-task activities were recorded. Data showed no statistical significance between on- and off-task time by left- and right-handers. However, it was established that left-handers have to not only work faster, but also put in more effort and time in order to complete timed tasks. An independent t-test showed no significant difference between left- and right-handers’ task scores. Their different performance index was despite selecting the participants based on their based on past test results. The findings helped demonstrate that left-handers’ use of right-handed instructional resources may have an undesirable effect on the completion rate of timed chemistry tasks. In order to increase construct and concurrent validity, time-on-task samples from a larger participant group should be obtained. Further, to alleviate the negative effects of switches during task taking process, learners with the same challenge (for example left-handedness) need to be put together so that they all transit together during learning.

Author Information
Benerdeta Malusi, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Odiemo L.O. University of Nairobi, Kenya

Paper Information
Conference: IICEDubai2018
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education, Special Education, Learning Difficulties & Disability

This paper is part of the IICEDubai2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon