This features is a suite of activities, which take advantage of molecular modeling software originally designed for experts, such as WebLab Viewer and ISIS-draw. Guided by this suit of activities, students construct 2D representations of chemical substances using ISIS-draw, and then use Weblab to transform the 2D representations into a 3D (framework, ball-and-stick, or space-filling) image. Students compare their representations to those of their peers.
The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
Many students have difficulties relating symbolic representation of molecules to 2D and 3D models, especially when organic compounds are involved. To use software designed for experts, learning materials need to highlight the salient information for students (Edelson, Gordin & Pea, 1999).
Dori et al. (2006), show that these activities increase studentsí understanding of the physical and chemical properties of simple and complex compounds.
Dori, Y.J., Barak, M. Herscovitz, O.& Carmi, M. (2006). Preparing pre- and in-service teachers to teach high school science with technology. In C. Vrasidas and G.V. Glass (Eds.). Preparing Teachers to Teach with Technology, 2nd Volume of the book series: Current Perspectives on Applied Information Technologies. Information Age Publishing, Greenwich, CT, USA.
Edelson, D., Gordin, D., & Pea, R. (1999). Addressing the challenges of inquiry-based learning through technology and curriculum design. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 8 (3&4), 391-450.