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ERIC Number: EJ1012167
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Identifying Student Use of Ball-and-Stick Images versus Electrostatic Potential Map Images via Eye Tracking
Williamson, Vickie M.; Hegarty, Mary; Deslongchamps, Ghislain; Williamson, Kenneth C., III
Journal of Chemical Education, v90 n2 p159-164 Feb 2013
This pilot study examined students' use of ball-and-stick images versus electrostatic potential maps when asked questions about electron density, positive charge, proton attack, and hydroxide attack with six different molecules (two alcohols, two carboxylic acids, and two hydroxycarboxylic acids). Students' viewing of these dual images was measured by monitoring eye fixations of the students while they read and answered questions. Results showed that students spent significantly more time with the ball-and-stick image when asked questions about proton or hydroxide attack, but equal time on the images when asked about electron density or positive charge. When comparing accuracy and time spent on the images, students who spent more time on the ball-and-stick when asked about positive charge were less likely to be correct, while those who spent more time with the potential map were more likely to be correct. The paper serves to introduce readers to eye-tracker data and calls for replication with a larger subject pool and for the inclusion of eye tracking as a chemical education research tool. (Contains 4 tables and 4 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A