Impact of a pre-laboratory organic-extraction simulation on comprehension and attitudes of undergraduate chemistry students
Many students perform extraction experiments without connecting relevant molecular features to corresponding macroscopic features. Two versions of an Organic Extraction Simulation, one with text captions and the other with narration accompanying the animation, were developed based on a cognitive view of multimedia learning. This instructional module was intended to help students to visualize extraction concepts at the molecular level, and to connect these concepts with corresponding macroscopic procedure. Organic Chemistry I students (N = 106) were randomly assigned to use one of two versions of the simulation (with text or narration). They completed a spatial ability test, and a pre-test and a post-test on organic extraction concepts. Post-test scores for both versions were significantly higher than pre-test scores. MANCOVA with a pre-test score covariate indicated that simulation version had a significant effect on lower-order cognitive questions (p = 0.036), while spatial ability was significantly correlated with higher-order cognitive questions (p = 0.004). Students in the narration group had significantly more positive attitudes towards the effectiveness of the simulation than did those in the text group.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Research and Practice in Chemical Education in Advanced Courses