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

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conference contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Gail Chittleborough, D Treagust
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.

History

Location

The University of Canberra

Open access

  • Yes

Start date

2006-07-05

End date

2006-07-08

Language

eng

Notes

Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2006, The Author

Title of proceedings

ASERA 2006 : Australian Science Education Research Association 37th Annual Conference

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