Visualization of problem solving related to the quantitative composition of solutions in the dynamic GeoGebra environment
Problem solving in the field of quantitative composition of solutions (QCS), expressed as mass share and molar concentration, is essential for chemistry students. Since successful chemistry education is based on different mathematical contents, it is important to be proficient in both mathematical and chemistry concepts as well as interconnections between them. One of the main objectives of this study was to create dynamic worksheets, applying software GeoGebra, which makes a strong link between real life problems from the field of QCS and their visual representations. The created models offer interactive connection within triangle –numerical data, concrete and abstract visual representations of the problem. The other important issue was to investigate if application of this novel teaching approach will lead to improvement of students' achievements in QCS problem solving. Ninety students of the first, second and third year of the bachelor chemistry study program, were subjects of the research. The students were classified into experimental and control groups based on the results of the initial test. Both groups were trained in the same pool of problems from the QCS field. In the control group the traditional approach based on algebraic methods was applied. The new didactic approach to the graphical method based on the dynamic properties of GeoGebra was presented to the experimental group. After two months, the final testing of all students was conducted. The students' answers were analysed and it is shown that the results of the experimental group were significantly better than the results of students in the control group. The results of these research studies confirmed that the students' learning achievement in solving QCS problems is better when they are familiar with the GeoGebra environment.