P118: Using Think Alouds to understand from the students’ perspective: What did they really learn from our reaction mechanism animations?

Author: Sheri Strickland, Converse College, USA


Date: 8/4/14

Time: 9:55 AM10:15 AM

Room: LMH 176

Related Symposium: S3

Drawing the complete (and correct) mechanism of an organic chemistry reaction mechanism continues to be a daunting task for many students. We designed the OrbitalVis¨ computer animations to help students understand the fluid, three-dimensional nature of reaction mechanisms. Understanding how particular reactants are transformed into specific products requires that a student grasp how changes in atomic orbitals lead to changes in bonding and atom placement. But how do we know if our students are receiving these basic ideas and using them to conceptualize these reaction mechanisms? We conducted Think Aloud protocols with organic chemistry students at Converse College to find out.