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Changes in visual/spatial and analytic strategy use in organic chemistry with the development of expertise

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Abstract

We present two studies that investigated the adoption of visual/spatial and analytic strategies by individuals at different levels of expertise in the area of organic chemistry, using the Visual Analytic Chemistry Task (VACT). The VACT allows the direct detection of analytic strategy use without drawing inferences about underlying mental processes. The first study examined the psychometric properties of the VACT and revealed a structure consistent with the hypothesis that it consists of two sub-scales: visual/spatial and analytic. The second study investigated the performance of 285 participants with various levels of expertise in organic chemistry on the VACT. The results showed that the adoption of analytic strategies in organic chemistry, and specifically in molecular structure, was difficult and was systematically used only by the more expert participants. The implications of this research for the teaching of chemistry are discussed.

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Mar 2017, accepted on 31 May 2017 and first published on 31 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7RP00036G
Citation: Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2017, Advance Article
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    Changes in visual/spatial and analytic strategy use in organic chemistry with the development of expertise

    M. Vlacholia, S. Vosniadou, P. Roussos, K. Salta, S. Kazi, M. Sigalas and C. Tzougraki, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7RP00036G

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