Chemical Modelling: Volume 13
Molecular-level visualisation for educational purposes1
Published:01 Nov 2016
The focus of this chapter is the challenge of portraying molecular-level structures and processes in visualisations to help novices develop useful mental models of the molecular world for a deep understanding of chemistry. The challenge is to judiciously balance the demands of scientific accuracy with the pedagogical demands of clear communication and avoidance of cognitive overload. The advantages and disadvantages of scripted animations and calculated simulations are compared, resulting in the recommendation that both are required to visualize this level for educational purposes. Great care is required in deciding what species (spectator ions? solvent molecules?) should be omitted for simplification to decrease cognitive load.