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ERIC Number: EJ1028479
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Textbook Treatments of Electrostatic Potential Maps in General and Organic Chemistry
Hinze, Scott R.; Williamson, Vickie M.; Deslongchamps, Ghislain; Shultz, Mary Jane; Williamson, Kenneth C.; Rapp, David N.
Journal of Chemical Education, v90 n10 p1275–1281 Oct 2013
Electrostatic potential maps (EPMs) allow for representation of key molecular-level information in a relatively simple and inexpensive format. As these visualizations become more prevalent in instruction, it is important to determine how students are exposed to them and supported in their use. A systematic review of current general and organic chemistry textbooks (N = 45) determined how frequently EPMs were presented in texts, how well distributed EPMs were across chapters, whether EPMs were included in end-of-chapter problems, and the types of conceptual instructional support provided to students when first exposed to them. Analysis demonstrated great variance in the use of EPMs. Most, but not all, textbooks presented at least one image, yet the prevalence and integration across texts varied greatly, owing in part to content differences between general and organic texts. Many texts provided minimal conceptual support and did not include EPMs in end-of-chapter problem sets. Overall, little consensus emerged as to how often EPMs should be used, and the sorts of instructional supports or student practice offered to scaffold the use of EPMs. These findings suggest a need for examining the supports that foster effective comprehension and use of EPMs, and more generally, obtaining data that inform the design and implementation of emerging instructional supports.
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; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A