Freshmen learning in a web-based chemistry course
Chemistry courses in higher education have traditionally been composed of lectures, problem solving sessions and laboratories. This study describes a Web-based chemistry course and the learning outcomes of freshmen that used it. Chemistry faculty and teaching assistants were interviewed regarding their views about Web-based teaching and learning. Students who took part in a Web-based general chemistry course were divided into two groups based on their preference of participating in a Computerized Molecular Modeling (CMM) project. The experimental group students carried out an individualized project using CMM software to represent a complex molecule in three model types, compute its molecular weight, and construct hybridization and electrical charge distribution for each of the carbon atoms in the molecule. Pre- and post-tests along with final examination grades served for assessing the students achievements. The 95 experimental students achieved significantly higher grades than their 120 control group peers in both the post-test and the final examination. The experimental students were able to switch from 1-D to 2- and 3-D molecular representations, argue for selecting an appropriate substance for a particular purpose and transfer between the four levels of understanding in chemistry better than their control counterparts.
Subject: Education, Chemistry Resource Type: Pedagogic Resources:Research Results, Conference Paper Special Interest: Spatial Thinking Research on Learning: Instructional Design:Use of Technology, Cognitive Domain:How information is organized:Mental models, Cognitive Domain:Knowledge Transfer, Spatial Intelligence:3D
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