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ERIC Number: EJ1104119
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jun
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Insights into How Students Learn the Difference between a Weak Acid and a Strong Acid from Cartoon Tutorials Employing Visualizations
Kelly, Resa M.; Akaygun, Sevil
Journal of Chemical Education, v93 n6 p1010-1019 Jun 2016
This article summarizes an investigation into how Flash-based cartoon video tutorials featuring molecular visualizations affect students' mental models of acetic acid and hydrochloric acid solutions and how the acids respond when tested for electrical conductance. Variation theory served as the theoretical framework for examining how students compared and contrasted their understanding of weak and strong acids to the tutorials. Specifically, students' ability to recognize variation between their mental models and the events portrayed in the videos was examined through picture construction exercises and semistructured interview questions focused on metacognitive monitoring. Interestingly, the items noticed as being in variance were items that were emphasized by still image representation in the tutorials prior to showing the visualizations. Mechanistic items, specifically movement of ionic species toward electrodes, were replicated in students' drawings only if they were explicitly conveyed, but students were not inclined to mention them as features in variance with their initial understanding. Overall, scaffolding animations in a cartoon context with explicit connections between experimental evidence and the submicroscopic level resulted in students being proficient at replicating what they explicitly observed both structurally and mechanistically.
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; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0941203