Lawrence McGahey (The College of St. Scholastica, USA)
Making predictions about the three-dimensional shape and properties of molecules from two-dimensional representations by application of VSEPR theory is an important skill used throughout the chemistry curriculum. This project investigates using web-delivered tutorials based on Models 360 (available from the Chemical Education Digital Library) to help students improve their skill at predicting 3D molecular structure. Students in the same section of a general chemistry course were introduced to VSEPR principles using a traditional textbook approach. Subsequently students were offered access to a web-delivered tutorial containing 3D representations that could be manipulated. The tutorial provided feedback to users based on their responses to questions. One version of the tutorial posed potentially multi-layered problems as a single query, while a second version of the tutorial presented students with discrete steps building to the same final question. Student learning was assessed in both cases by the same web-delivered quiz and course final exam. Data collected from these students and those in the course who elected not to take the tutorial are examined in light of students’ overall course grade, reading and math ACT scores, and other variables. The presentation will discuss methods, findings, and conclusions of this brief study.