Openly accessible

What can student-generated diagrams tell us about their understanding of chemical equations?

Davidowitz, Bette, Chittleborough, Gail and Murray, Eileen 2010, What can student-generated diagrams tell us about their understanding of chemical equations?, in SAARMSTE 2010 : Proceedings of the 18th Annual Meeting of the Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education : Crossing the Boundaries, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, pp. 51-58.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
chittleborough-whatcanstudent-2009.pdf Published version application/pdf 648.48KB 194

Title What can student-generated diagrams tell us about their understanding of chemical equations?
Author(s) Davidowitz, Bette
Chittleborough, Gail
Murray, Eileen
Conference name Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. Conference (18th : 2010 : Pinetown, South Africa)
Conference location University of Kwazulu-Natal, Pinetown, South Africa
Conference dates 18 - 21 January 2010
Title of proceedings SAARMSTE 2010 : Proceedings of the 18th Annual Meeting of the Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education : Crossing the Boundaries
Editor(s) Mudaly, Vimolan
Publication date 2010
Conference series Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Conference
Start page 51
End page 58
Publisher University of Kwazulu-Natal
Place of publication Durban, South Africa
Summary Chemical equations are representations that use symbols to summarise the net changes occurring in a reaction whereas depictions such as drawings of the submicroscopic level provide representations of the chemical transformations. While the ability to balance and interpret chemical equations is key to understanding many concepts in chemistry, many undergraduate chemistry students struggle to master these skills. The equations contain a great deal of implicit information and novices may not be able to make the connection between the equation and the actual chemical transformations that are occurring. This paper reports on a study which used submicroscopic diagrams to probe students' understanding of chemical equations. Assessment tasks required students to interpret diagrams, construct diagrams and to relate diagrams to symbolic representations. The analysis showed that some students have misconceptions about the molecular nature and chemical formulae and could not distinguish between coefficients and subscripts when representing chemical formulae. While students were generally able to balance a chemical equation presented as a set of diagrams, a significant number could not generate the balanced equation based on a diagram of the progress of a reaction, The study has demonstrated the use of student-generated diagrams to provide insight into students' understandings of chemical equations.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
ISBN 9789299004395
Language eng
Field of Research 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio Economic Objective 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
HERDC collection year 2010
Copyright notice ©2010, University of Kwazulu-Natal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30025036

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Education
Open Access Collection
Connect to link resolver
 
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.

Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 394 Abstract Views, 194 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 12:04:28 EST

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.