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The descriptive and explanatory nature of chemical diagrams does not guarantee understanding

Chittleborough, Gail and Treagust, David 2006, The descriptive and explanatory nature of chemical diagrams does not guarantee understanding, in ASERA 2006 : Australian Science Education Research Association 37th Annual Conference, The University of Canberra, [Canberra, A.C.T.].

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Title The descriptive and explanatory nature of chemical diagrams does not guarantee understanding
Author(s) Chittleborough, GailORCID iD for Chittleborough, Gail orcid.org/0000-0002-0919-1582
Treagust, David
Conference name Australian Science Education Research Association. (37th : 2006 : University of Canberra). Conference.
Conference location The University of Canberra
Conference dates 5 - 8 July 2006
Title of proceedings ASERA 2006 : Australian Science Education Research Association 37th Annual Conference
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2006
Conference series Australian Science Education Research Association Conference
Publisher The University of Canberra
Place of publication [Canberra, A.C.T.]
Keyword(s) chemical diagrams
chemistry
representations
explanations
non-major
first-year university
Summary Volunteer non-major chemistry students, taking an introductory university chemistry course (n= 17) were interviewed about their understanding of a variety of chemical diagrams. All the students’ interviewed appreciated that diagrams of laboratory equipment were useful to show how to set up laboratory equipment. However students’ ability to explain specific diagrams at either the macroscopic or sub-microscopic level varied greatly. The results highlighted the poor level of understanding that some students had even after completing both exercises and experiments using the diagrams. The connection between the diagrams of the macroscopic level (equipment), the sub-microscopic level (molecular) and the symbolic level (equations) was not always apparent to students. The results indicate a need for chemical diagrams to be used carefully and more explicitly to ensure the learner understanding.
Notes Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2006, The Author
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30019125

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Education
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