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  Feature Name: Combining online drawing tools and dynamic visualizations
Author: Helen Zhang

Category: Visualization Tools (pre-designed): Models, Visualization Tools (pre-designed): Simulations, Open Ended Construction Tools

Subject: Physical sciences

Kind: Element/Applet

 Elementary School
 Middle School
 High School
 Higher Education
 Teachers & Principals


Software URL: NA

Created by:

Reference URL

This Feature is connected to (6) Principles
  • Provide knowledge representation and organization tools
  • Reduce visual complexity to help learners recognize salient information
  • Use multiple representations
  • Encourage reflection
  • Model scientific thinking
  • Reuse student artifacts as resource for learning
    Feature in Visual Map
    This feature blends dynamic visualizations of chemical reactions with online drawing activities. Students interact with the visualization first, create drawings to represent critical phases during the reaction, and explain how their drawings are related to symbolic representations and observable phenomena.
    The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
    Dynamic visualizations can demonstrate coordinated changes in multiple representations but students may become overwhelmed while trying to process different information. Asking them to draw enables students to represent their interpretations of the visualizations and encourage them to compare their drawings with the dynamic visualizations. This could help students realize the inaccurateness or incompleteness in their understanding and encourage reflection.
    Context of Use:
    This feature is part of a TELS project called: Chemistry inside Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars (#31202)
    Field-based Evidence:
    Classroom observations showed that students who drew their ideas after the visualization revised their previous answers to embedded questions more frequently than those who did not draw. Analysis of studentsí responses to embedded assessments showed that students who completed the drawing activity were able to build valid links between different representations and form an integrated understanding of dynamic processes during chemical reactions.
    Zhang, Z. (April, 2008). Using Drawings to Support Learning from Dynamic Visualizations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of American Educational Research Association, New York.