Learning from contrasting molecular animations with a metacognitive monitor activity

Resa M. Kelly

Resumen


A common problem associated with having General Chemistry students view animations is that students tend to accept the animations as ‘‘correct’’ explanations without question or consideration for their limitations. This study proposes a new strategy for presenting animations in chemistry instruction that requires students to critique contrasting animations to determine which animation is a best fit with video-recorded scientific evidence. The purpose of the study was to examine how undergraduate students, enrolled in their first semester of a General Chemistry course, responded to two contrasting animations, one that was scientifically accurate and one that was scientifically inaccurate, as molecular level explanations of a video of a redox reaction involving the reaction between solid copper and aqueous silver nitrate. An analysis of a metacognitive monitoring activity was performed to study how students saw similarities and differences between the animations, as well as, to their own molecular level explanations of the reaction event. The findings revealed that students picked up on the mechanistic differences between the animations, but they struggled with understanding why the reaction happened. Regardless of their background knowledge of chemistry, students voiced preference for animations that were simplistic in their appearance and obvious in what they conveyed while also having an explicit connection to the macroscopic level.

Palabras clave


Animations; College chemistry; Metacognition; Students’ ideas

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eq.2017.02.003

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Educación Química (ISSN 0187-893X y ISSNe 1870-8404 en línea), año 30 núm. 4. Se edita trimestralmente en la Facultad de Química de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Ciudad Universitaria, Del. Coyoacán, 04510, México, D.F. Certificado de Licitud de Contenido Nº 4088. Certificado de Licitud de Título Nº5310, ambos con expediente Nº1/432‘‘90’’/672 de la Secretaría de Gobernación. Número de Reserva 04-2002-060413390600-102 de la Secretaría de Gobernación. Registro del Servicio Postal Mexicano Nº0790791, características 220461124. La revista se encuentra registrada y sus artículos aparecen indexados en el Chemical Abstracts, bajo el coden euquim, en Scopus, de Elsevier y en latindex. Se autoriza la reproducción de los materiales citando la fuente (Título clave abreviado: Educ. quím.). Analizada en la base de datos especializada en educación iberoamericana iresie (Índice de Revistas de Educación Superior e Investigación Educativa) http://www.iisue.unam.mx/iresie. Los artículos firmados son responsabilidad de su autor.