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Designers Voice - Context



The learning design encompasses seven steps that is optimally delivered in a set sequence.

View the Learning Design Sequence for a graphical representation of this learning design.




Seven steps that comprise the learning design are: Observing a chemistry phenomenon; describing and representing what is occuring at the molecular level; discussing with a peer; viewing an animation portraying the phenomenon at the molecular level; reflecting with a peer; relating the molecular-level perspective to the symbolic representation; and adapting the mental model to a similar phenomenon...




Resources provided include: Lab-level phenomenon as a demonstration, or on video/CD, or in the lab; VisChem molecular-level animations; follow-up online multimedia...




Supports provided include: the lecturer, a visual summary handout to assist the students to understand the relationship between the physical phenomenon, its molecular-level representation and the symbolic notation...



Setting Notes


The learning design is currently implemented in a face-to-face lecture environment, with students able to work in pairs and with the support of an experienced lecturer to maintain focus on key features, and facilitate discussion...




Build scientifically-acceptable mental models of substances and reactions at the molecular level; relate these models to the laboratory level and symbolic level in chemistry; apply their models to new substances and reactions;...




Students are required to use the three-thinking-level approach, and draw molecular-level representations, in lab classes and in their reports for assessment...


ICT Contribution


The initial use of ICT was to produce and present the VisChem animations in a constructivist teaching strategy, whilst requiring a skilled educator to guide the process...



Pedagogy Notes


The educational foundation for this learning design is based on combining three models for learning...




The need for the VisChem animations became apparent from a frustration with teaching students about the 3-D, dynamic molecular world using 2-D, static teaching resources...




A Ph.D study by Rebecca Dalton has focused on the evaluation of the VisChem animations and their effectiveness in assisting students to build mental models of the molecular world...


Designer Debrief


The learning design works very well if the essential features of the design are implemented...


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