A Student Evaluation of Molecular Modeling in First Year College Chemistry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This three-year study involved an evaluation of molecular modeling by students in first year college chemistry. The molecular modeling program utilized was Spartan (Wavefunction, Inc., Irvine, California) on a UNIX-based platform with Silicon Graphics Indigo series workstations. A treatment group of 129 students visited a computer room four times during the semester for two-hour sessions. They completed exercises on periodic trends in atoms, structure of molecules, electronic structure of molecules such as MO and valence bond theory, and properties of organic molecules. The students were required to complete an evaluation of the molecular modeling computer experience at the end of the semester regarding aspects such as: effectiveness, integration with course content, interest, benefit, and advantages and disadvantages. Also obtained through the evaluation were students' opinions regarding the helpfulness of the molecular modeling computer experience for 3-D visualization of atomic and molecular structure and whether their understanding of atomic and molecular structure was enhanced. The first two years of the study constituted a pilot study and data for this study were obtained in the third year. Though the specifics are not reported here, quantitatively the achievement of the treatment and non-treatment groups was also assessed. There was a significant difference in achievement on the Final Exam of the semester (p = 0.0067) between the treatment and non-treatment groups on multiple choice questions pertaining to concepts of resonance, dipole moment, and atomic/molecular stoichiometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-321
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Science Education and Technology
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

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Molecular modeling
chemistry
Students
semester
evaluation
Molecular structure
Molecules
student
UNIX
Group
workstation
Dipole moment
Wave functions
Stoichiometry
visualization
Electronic structure
experience
Visualization
electronics
Silicon

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

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A Student Evaluation of Molecular Modeling in First Year College Chemistry. / Ealy, Julie B.

In: Journal of Science Education and Technology, Vol. 8, No. 4, 01.01.1999, p. 309-321.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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