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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1217

Title: A qualitative inquiry into the effects of visualization on high school chemistry students’ learning process of molecular structure
Authors: Deratzou, Susan
Keywords: Education;Education--Secondary;Chemistry
Issue Date: 19-Jan-2007
Abstract: This research studies the process of high school chemistry students visualizing chemical structures and its role in learning chemical bonding and molecular structure. Minimal research exists with high school chemistry students and more research is necessary (Gabel & Sherwood, 1980; Seddon & Moore, 1986; Seddon, Tariq, & Dos Santos Veiga, 1984). Using visualization tests (Ekstrom, French, Harman, & Dermen, 1990a), a learning style inventory (Brown & Cooper, 1999), and observations through a case study design, this study found visual learners performed better, but needed more practice and training. Statistically, all five pre- and post-test visualization test comparisons were highly significant in the two-tailed t-test (p > .01). The research findings are: 1. Students who tested high in the Visual (Language and/or Numerical) and Tactile Learning Styles (and Social Learning) had an advantage. Students who learned the chemistry concepts more effectively were better at visualizing structures and using molecular models to enhance their knowledge. 2. Students showed improvement in learning after visualization practice. Training in visualization would improve students’ visualization abilities and provide them with a way to think about these concepts. 3. Conceptualization of concepts indicated that visualizing ability was critical and that it could be acquired. Support for this finding was provided by pre- and post-Visualization Test data with a highly significant t-test. 4. Various molecular animation programs and websites were found to be effective. 5. Visualization and modeling of structures encompassed both two- and threedimensional space. The Visualization Test findings suggested that the students performed better with basic rotation of structures as compared to two- and threedimensional objects. 6. Data from observations suggest that teaching style was an important factor in student learning of molecular structure. 7. Students did learn the chemistry concepts. Based on the Visualization Test results, which showed that most of the students performed better on the post-test, the visualization experience and the abstract nature of the content allowed them to transfer some of their chemical understanding and practice to non-chemical structures. Finally, implications for teaching of chemistry, students learning chemistry, curriculum, and research for the field of chemical education were discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1217
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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