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Exploring Interactivity, Dimensionality and Assessment in a Diagnostic Interactive Prototype for Visualizing Molecular Geometry and Polarity. Barbara L. Gonzalez, CSUF Elizabeth Dorland, WUSL Robin Heyden, Consultant Matthew Radcliff, Paignton Pictures. California State University Fullerton

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Exploring Interactivity, Dimensionality and Assessment in a Diagnostic Interactive Prototype for Visualizing Molecular Geometry and Polarity

Barbara L. Gonzalez, CSUF

Elizabeth Dorland, WUSL

Robin Heyden, Consultant

Matthew Radcliff, Paignton Pictures

California State University Fullerton

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

project goals
Project Goals
  • Design principles for developing animations that promote optimal use of interactivity and learners’ ability to mentally transform between two- and three-dimensional representations of structure.
  • Development of instruments to assess student understanding of center of symmetry, molecular geometry, polarity of bonds, and polarity of molecules.
  • Process for the development of animations and assessment instruments based on design principles from the research literature informed by controlled studies in classroom settings.
visualization
Visualization
  • Visual-Spatial
    • Ability to mentally manipulate images in three dimensions
      • (Coleman and Gotch, 1998)
  • Spatial visualization
    • Ability to recognize, retain and recall an object when it or parts of it are moved
  • Spatial orientation
    • Ability to remain unconfused by changes in the orientation of an object
      • (Bodner and Guay, 1997)
  • Imagery
    • Ability to elicit a visual representation of a mental model
    • (Gabel,1999; Mathewson, 1999)
visualization and chemistry
Visualization and Chemistry
  • Visual-spatial skills develop from birth and improve with practice
    • (Lord, 1985; Kosslyn, Margolin, Barrett, Goldknopf and Daly, 1990)
  • Spatial-perceptual skills are related to performance in a chemistry course and males tend to have better skills in subjects such as science
    • (Bodner and Domin, in press; Carter, LaRussa, and Bodner, 1987; Coleman and Gotch, 1998)
  • Misconceptions Molecular Geometry and Polarity
    • Bilateral-spatial, Electronegativity, VSEPR
    • (Furio, Calatayud, Barcenas & Padilla, 200; Meyer, 2005 and Wang, 2007)
animation
Animation
  • Multimedia Learning Theory
    • Contiguity, coherence, modality and redundancy (Mayer & Moreno, 2007; Tversky & Morrison, 2002; Mayer, 2003; and Mayer & Reed, 2006)
  • Animations in Chemistry
    • Order effects and achievement (Sanger 2001; Tasker et al., 2003; and Williamson, 1995)
assessment study setting
Assessment Study Setting
  • Location
      • Southern California, USA
      • Comprehensive university awards BA, BS, MA, MS degrees
      • 59% Female
      • Mean age 21 years
      • Minority Serving Institution
  • Subjects (n = 228)
      • Introductory Chemistry CHEM115 n = 158
      • General Chemistry 1 CHEM120A n = 65
      • REU and HHMI research students REU n = 6
        • Most completed organic chemistry
        • Most REU from other universities
  • Duration
    • Fall 2007 to Summer 2009
assessment study design
Assessment Study Design
  • Quantitative Study
  • Qualitative Study
assessment research questions
Assessment Research Questions
  • Does the frequency of target misconceptions vary by course and pre-/post- instruction?
    • Symmetry as solely a two-dimensional phenonmenon
    • Polarity of individual bonds synonymous with molecular polarity
    • Incorrect application of VSEPR lone pairs to polarity
  • Is there an association between ability to correctly identify an asymmetric electron distribution in a molecule with the presence or absence of the three target misconceptions?
  • Will the assessment items contribute to a database of items appropriate for use for animation prototype for visualization of molecular geometry and polarity?
assessment instruments
Assessment Instruments
  • CHEM 115 Final Exam
  • CHEM 120A Post Instruction Quiz
  • REU Post Animation Online Assessment
sample responses
Sample Responses
  • CHEM 120A Post Instruction Quiz
    • Misconception Bond Polarity as Molecular Polarity
  • REU Post Animation Online Assessment
    • Misconception Bond Polarity as Molecular Polarity
  • S: I still think it’s asymmetrical because… boron is more
  • electronegative than H so it’s going to pull electrons toward itself.
  • R: OK. So can you determine in that molecule a line or plane that
  • separates the negative from the positive charge?
  • S: Mm…. Not sure.
conclusions assessment item studies
Conclusions Assessment Item Studies
  • Misconception Lone Pair as Molecular Polarity is most frequent in all courses
  • Frequencies of Symmetry as 2D and Lone Pair as Molecular Polarity CHEM120A increase pre-/post instruction

(χ2 = 1.67, p > 0.05; (χ2 = 2.13, p > 0.05)

  • A significant association Bond Polarity as Molecular Polarity CHEM120A increase pre-/post instruction (χ2 = 5.54, p ≤ .05)
  • An association exists between the ability to correctly identify a molecule with asymmetric electron distribution and the Symmetry as 2D misconception ( p ≤ 0.05)
  • Assessment items can contribute to a database of items appropriate for use with an animation prototype for visualizing molecular geometry and polarity.
future research
Future Research
  • Compile a database of assessment items for dynamic and embedded assessment of molecular geometry and polarity
  • Field test item database using paper-pencil, online and oral interview procedures
  • Field test assessment with MGP module
  • Determine validity and reliability of items in database
  • Pilot items to assess virtual reality context
project future
Project Future
  • Continue monthly Skype conference
  • Seek funding sources to continue project
    • Proposal to Dreyfus submitted June 4, 2009
    • Plan proposal to NSF CCLI May 2010
      • Incorporate virtual reality component to the project
        • Virtual reality spin-off by Robin and Liz
    • CSUF Faculty-Student Research Award June 30, 2009
      • $1,000 for software, student travel to SCUR
  • Continue assessment of diagnostic interactive with general chemistry undergraduates F2009
  • Continue development of diagnostic interactive
    • Use data from qualitative interviews and Fall 2009 pilot
    • Add the second storyboard
acknowledgments
Acknowledgments
  • National Science Foundation
    • CAREER REC0133989
    • REU CHE0649087
    • DRL REESE 0634617
  • California State University Fullerton
    • Dr. Monica Azimoara
    • Shiloh Betterley
    • Keegan Konecny
    • Sarita Mantravadi
    • Jasmine Radoc
  • University California Berkeley
    • Elodie Tong-Lin