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ERIC Number: EJ847046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1536-7509
How Effective Are Simulated Molecular-Level Experiments for Teaching Diffusion and Osmosis?
Meir, Eli; Perry, Judith; Stal, Derek; Maruca, Susan; Klopfer, Eric
Cell Biology Education, v4 n3 p235-248 Fall 2005
Diffusion and osmosis are central concepts in biology, both at the cellular and organ levels. They are presented several times throughout most introductory biology textbooks (e.g., Freeman, 2002), yet both processes are often difficult for students to understand (Odom, 1995; Zuckerman, 1994; Sanger "et al.", 2001; and results herein). Students have deep-rooted misconceptions about how diffusion and osmosis work, especially at the molecular level. We hypothesized that this might be in part due to the inability to see and explore these processes at the molecular level. In order to investigate this, we developed new software, OsmoBeaker, which allows students to perform inquiry-based experiments at the molecular level. Here we show that these simulated laboratories do indeed teach diffusion and osmosis and help overcome some, but not all, student misconceptions. (Contains 4 figures, 3 tables and 1 footnote.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; E-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A