2003 UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
March 2729, Greensboro, NC

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Seeing Atoms and Molecules in Three-Dimensional Space

Bjorkman, David         (252) 328-1641
      Asst Professor
      East Carolina University
First co-presenter: Gerow, Irene    
Organization: East Carolina University
Second co-presenter: Flurchick, Ken    
Organization: East Carolina University
Third co-presenter: Jones, Roger    
Organization: East Carolina University

Abstract (up to 200 words):
Three-dimensional models of atomic and molecular structures were constructed to present geometric concepts to students in introductory chemistry courses. Models were constructed using 3D Studio and AVS Express and were presented by RAVE, Reconfigurable Advanced Visualization Environment, technology. Students view and navigate three-dimensional visualizations of electron orbitals and molecular geometries. RAVE visualizations are interactive environments. Students control image size, orientation and content, controlling the pace of their learning. 230 chemistry students participated in an evaluation of the RAVE visualizations. An experimental group learned electron configuration and molecular geometry using the RAVE. A control group learned by traditional classroom methods. The visualization experience was evaluated by comparison of examination scores and by a student survey. Preliminary results indicate the experimental group scored an average of two points higher on examinations than the control (67.5 vs 65.7). Positive student responses to the survey indicated that students found the visualization experience beneficial. RAVE visualization appears to be a dramatic and effective technique that facilitates student learning of electron configuration and molecular geometries. A demonstration of these models is available on the web: www.ecu.edu/rave and will be available for viewing on the day of the presentation.

Session type:
Short presentation (20 minutes)

Time slots:
C1 - Th 2:00 - 2:45

Grandover E

Last Modified September 9, 2003
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