There is a growing literature demonstrating the effectiveness of using computer environments to assist students’ in visualizing science and mathematics concepts. However, with many of these computerized learning environments, students do not have the option of manipulating the environment. Instead, they are presented with pre-made visualizations. Enabling students to display their understanding through multiple representational forms is more interesting. In our peer-led, peer-review environment, students generate a complex, literature-based, multimedia text on which their final examination is based. However, there are great time and personnel costs in this design. Collaborating with SRI Inc., we are addressing these demands via the ChemSense Studio. This second-generation tool allows students to create texts, images and animations using one simple application. Peer-review is facilitated. We have begun to develop and modify methods of visual discourse analysis in order to examine the effectiveness of the ChemSense Studio in assisting students in their development of representational competence.


Biochemistry | Chemistry

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