Chapter 18: Designing Virtual Chemistry Visualizations Featuring Environmental Dilemmas to Promote Equitable Knowledge Integration
Published:12 Jul 2023
D. Donnelly-Hermosillo, L. Gerard, and M. C. Linn, in Digital Learning and Teaching in Chemistry, ed. Y. Dori, C. Ngai, and G. Szteinberg, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2023, ch. 18, pp. 219-233.
Download citation file:
Chemistry instruction involves visualizing macroscopic, microscopic, and symbolic aspects of globally important scientific phenomena including climate change, energy storage, and air and water quality. Visualizations including virtual experiments offer opportunities for teachers to enhance secondary school students’ learning of chemistry. However, there are questions about how to effectively design visualizations and guide students’ use of virtual experiments, particularly in equitable and inclusive ways. This chapter uses environmental dilemmas to illustrate how the constructivist knowledge integration (KI) pedagogy guides the design of learning technologies featuring visualizations. KI emphasizes welcoming students by building on their different cultural experiences and by encouraging them to seek coherent understandings. Visualizations have the potential to help students discover new ideas and to use evidence to distinguish among alternative views for problems that affect their lives. Teacher and automated guidance can shape students’ interactions with visualizations to promote KI. This chapter reviews existing literature to illustrate how learning technologies such as digital learning platforms, simulations, models, and virtual laboratories can strengthen instruction by incorporating visualizations of molecular interactions, diagrams, and/or graphs. We highlight how studies of personalized guidance can contribute to effective instruction for each student. We discuss how these technologies can prepare students to understand and debate glocally-important environmental issues.