Dr. Vickie M. Williamson
Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Texas A&M University
“Teaching Chemistry with Visualizations: Research and Techniques”Visualization techniques for the chemistry classroom have been investigated in the research literature, but these techniques are often perceived as difficult, confusing, or expensive to implement by instructors. Visualization techniques can involve the use of physical models, role-playing, fixed computer models, student-generated visualizations, animations, and simulations. The use of visualizations in the classroom is believed to promote the formation of mental models of particle behavior, thus increasing students’ conceptual understanding of chemistry concepts. Visualizations can be used individually, sequentially, or simultaneously. When used sequentially, the order of use must be considered, while simultaneous use requires consideration of the design features of the visualizations and where the students focus. Another consideration is how the visualizations interact with various student attributes, such as spatial abilities, which can moderate how students comprehend visualizations. The goal of the presentation is to present research findings and classroom implications in order to promote a smooth implementation of visualizations into the classroom.
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