Investigating the Effectiveness of Computer Simulations in the Teaching of “Atomic Structure and Bonding”



The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of using computer simulations on students’ understanding of “Atomic Structure and Bonding” over the traditionally designed instruction. The impact of computer simulations on students’ attitude and motivation was also studied during the research. The study was carried out in a girls’ State Secondary School in Mauritius. The sample consisted of 44 students in two Form IV (students of age 14–15 years) Chemistry classes. One class (n = 21) represented the treatment group in which computer simulations were used to teach “Atomic Structure and Bonding” using the software “Atoms, Bonding and Structure” (an interactive Chemistry tutor). The other class (n = 23) comprised the control group in which the same topic was taught by the traditional expository instruction without the use of computer simulations.

Our findings have revealed an improved performance of students in the treatment group as compared to students in the control group. Furthermore, the study has also shown that students in the treatment group were very enthusiastic and highly motivated when computer simulations were used. Our results thus indicate that computer simulations have not only enhanced students’ understanding of “Atomic Structure and Bonding,” but also increased their motivation during the lessons.


Computer Simulation Atomic Structure Conceptual Understanding Achievement Test Interactive Simulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors kindly acknowledge and thank Ray Le Couteur, the designer of the “Atoms, Bonding and Structure” software used. Abdoolatiff also thanks Ray Le Couteur for allowing her to use the software for classroom teaching.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lady Sushil Ramgoolam State Secondary SchoolMauritiusIsland
  2. 2.Department of Science EducationMauritius Institute of EducationMauritiusIsland

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