Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 243–254

Students’ Learning with the Connected Chemistry (CC1) Curriculum: Navigating the Complexities of the Particulate World

Authors

    • Faculty of EducationUniversity of Haifa
    • Departments of Learning Sciences and Computer Science, Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)Northwestern University
  • Uri Wilensky
    • Departments of Learning Sciences and Computer Science, Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)Northwestern University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10956-009-9145-7

Cite this article as:
Levy, S.T. & Wilensky, U. J Sci Educ Technol (2009) 18: 243. doi:10.1007/s10956-009-9145-7

Abstract

The focus of this study is students’ learning with a Connected Chemistry unit, CC1 (denotes Connected Chemistry, chapter 1), a computer-based environment for learning the topics of gas laws and kinetic molecular theory in chemistry (Levy and Wilensky 2009). An investigation was conducted into high-school students’ learning with Connected Chemistry, based on a conceptual framework that highlights several forms of access to understanding the system (submicro, macro, mathematical, experiential) and bidirectional transitions among these forms, anchored at the common and experienced level, the macro-level. Results show a strong effect size for embedded assessment and a medium effect size regarding pre-post-test questionnaires. Stronger effects are seen for understanding the submicroscopic level and bridging between it and the macroscopic level. More than half the students succeeded in constructing the equations describing the gas laws. Significant shifts were found in students’ epistemologies of models: understanding models as representations rather than replicas of reality and as providing multiple perspectives. Students’ learning is discussed with respect to the conceptual framework and the benefits of assessment of learning using a fine-tuned profile and further directions for research are proposed.

Keywords

Chemistry educationComputer modelsAgent-based modelsConcept formationComplex systemsGas laws

Supplementary material

10956_2009_9145_MOESM1_ESM.doc (703 kb)
(DOC 704 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009