Session S55b (Tuesday, 5:15pm, Willaman Gateway)

P617: Sharing "cognitive maps" to teach (and learn) chemical bonding theory

Sally Sogue (University of Colorado – Denver, USA), Karen Knaus (University of Colorado – Denver, USA)

Quite arguably, chemical bonding theory is one of the most important content areas in first-year college chemistry. When attempts at teaching these concepts are made, detail and organization are key.  This creates a learning experience unique to each human being. A learning experience in chemistry is a “complex” experiment that depends on knowledge from so many different sources: (1) books; (2) lectures; (3) experiments; (4) interactions with other persons; and most importantly; (5) our own choices for constructing “mental models” that help us make sense of what has been learned. Cognitive maps (a.k.a.  “mental maps”, “mind maps” or “mental models”) are a type of mental processing that involves a series of psychological transformations by which an individual can learn and teach. In this project, a unique set of “cognitive maps” are created to teach and learn chemical bonding theories. The end result is a teaching and learning process that can be shared.

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