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California State University Fullerton Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The Effect of Multimodal Delivery of Macroscopic and Particulate Level Visualizations on Understanding Chemical and Physical Changes. Barbara L. Gonzalez, Ph.D. Biennial Conference on Chemical Education

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California State University Fullerton

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

The Effect of Multimodal Delivery of Macroscopic and Particulate Level Visualizations on Understanding Chemical and Physical Changes

Barbara L. Gonzalez, Ph.D.

Biennial Conference on Chemical Education

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

July 31, 2006

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)
understanding changes in matter
Understanding Changes in Matter
  • Knowledge is constructed is accordance with cognitive development and social interaction
    • (Ginsberg and Oper, 1988; Vygotsky, 1969, 1978)
  • Physical and chemical changes poorly understood by learners of all ages and backgrounds
    • (Ahtee and Verjola, 1998; Herron, 1993; Johnson, et al., 2000; Solsana, et al., 2003)
  • Changes in matter in national and state standards as early as elementary school
    • (NRC, 1996; California Department of Education, 1990)
developmental patterns in understanding chemical change
Developmental Patterns in Understanding Chemical Change
  • Acceptance
    • The way nature behaves
  • Displacement of matter
    • Change is result of matter moving to a new place
  • Modification
    • Original substance is in a new form
  • Transmutation
    • Original substance is transformed into a new substance
  • Chemical interaction
    • New substance is result of dissociation and recombination of atoms and molecules
    • (Driver, et al., 1985, p.168)
sample
Sample
  • 245 students
  • Two Institutional Levels
    • Two Universities
      • General Chemistry Laboratory
      • Pre-service Elementary Teachers
    • One Middle School
      • Sixth grade science
      • Two classes
      • Science lessons taught by one teacher
  • 2002-2005
research questions
Research Questions
  • Is there a significant difference in the ability to distinguish between physical and chemical changes between students who complete a visualization activity and those who receive traditional instruction, as measured by mean scores on PCA
    • By treatment?
    • By institution?
    • By course?
  • Is there a difference in the frequency of common misconceptions that appear in written explanations of physical and chemical changes
slide9
PCA
  • Physical-Chemical Change Assessment
    • Ten items, two-tier, multiple choice and written explanation
    • Four types of representations
      • Macroscopic
      • Particulate
      • Symbolic
      • Visual

Which of the following best represents a physical change?

A.

B.

Explain why it represents a physical change.

pc activity
PC Activity
  • Four modes
    • Control
    • Still
    • Animated
    • Mixed
  • Equal number of representations
    • Macroscopic and particulate
    • Physical and chemical
macroscopic level animated
Macroscopic Level Animated

Click box to play movie

MP21

pca gain factors by course
PCA Gain Factors By Course

(F = 3.31, df = 2, p  0.05)

science major pca results
Science Major PCA Results

Science majors who completed the still mode PC Activity earned mean PCA gain factor scores that were significantly higher than the control group

middle school explanations
Middle School Explanations

Explanations do not demonstrate rich conceptual understanding

Quality of explanations improve with instruction

findings
Findings
  • Trend toward improvement in PCA scores for groups that receive instruction that involves visualization at macroscopic and particulate levels
    • Pre-Service Teachers and Science Majors earn similar PCA gain factor scores greater than MS
    • Significant difference in all post test scores for middle school learners who receive instruction that involves visualization
    • Science majors who receive still mode visualization instruction earn significantly greater mean gain factor scores on PCA
  • Explanations improve with instruction for all groups
implications
Implications
  • Learners would benefit from actively engaging in real examples as well as visual representations of physical and chemical changes at the macroscopic and particulate levels
  • Because instruction on physical and chemical change that involves visualizations led to a significant increase in mean PCA gain factor scores for middle school students, early and frequent exposure to is recommended
  • Science and non-science majors need practice in explaining and representing physical and chemical changes at the macroscopic and particulate levels
acknowledgments
Acknowledgments

National Science Foundation

CAREERREC-0133989

Dr. Ingrid Martorell CSUF

Azin Barzin CSUF

Maile Bay UCSB

Cindy Nguyen CSUF

Dionne Nguyen CSUF

Adriana Park CSUF

Chanda Strom CSUF

Di Trang CSUF