Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 70–81 | Cite as

The Effectiveness of Interacting with Scientific Animations in Chemistry Using Mobile Devices on Grade 12 Students’ Spatial Ability and Scientific Reasoning Skills

  • Sulaiman M. Al-BalushiEmail author
  • Ali S. Al-Musawi
  • Abdullah K. Ambusaidi
  • Fatemah H. Al-Hajri


The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of interacting with animations using mobile devices on grade 12 students’ spatial and reasoning abilities. The study took place in a grade 12 context in Oman. A quasi-experimental design was used with an experimental group of 32 students and a control group of 28 students. The experimental group studied chemistry using mobile tablets that had a digital instructional package with different animation and simulations. There was one tablet per student. A spatial ability test and a scientific reasoning test were administered to both groups prior and after the study, which lasted for 9 weeks. The findings showed that there were significant statistical differences between the two groups in terms of spatial ability in favour of the experimental group. However, there were no differences between the two groups in terms of reasoning ability. The authors reasoned that the types of animations and simulations used in the current study featured a wide range of three-dimensional animated illustrations at the particulate level of matter. Most probably, this decreased the level of abstractness that usually accompanies chemical entities and phenomena and helped the students to visualize the interactions between submicroscopic entities spatially. Further research is needed to decide on types of scientific animations that could help students improve their scientific reasoning.


Chemistry education Mobile learning Scientific animations Scientific reasoning Spatial ability Three-dimensional representations 



The authors would like to express their sincere appreciation to The Research Council (TRC) in Oman for their generous funding of this project (TRC No. ORG/EHR/12/005) and to various research assistants and teachers who made the implementation of study possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sulaiman M. Al-Balushi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ali S. Al-Musawi
    • 2
  • Abdullah K. Ambusaidi
    • 1
  • Fatemah H. Al-Hajri
    • 1
  1. 1.Curriculum and Instruction Department, College of EducationSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatSultanate of Oman
  2. 2.Instructional and Learning Technologies Department, College of EducationSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatSultanate of Oman

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