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Our interactive digital overheads (IDOs) are flexible, dynamic, and interactive web-based visualization resources for the chemistry classroom. These learning and teaching aids can be used in diverse classroom settings at different educational levels. The tools target many of the topics traditionally addressed in the general...
Our interactive digital overheads (IDOs) are flexible, dynamic, and interactive web-based visualization resources for the chemistry classroom. These learning and teaching aids can be used in diverse classroom settings at different educational levels. The tools target many of the topics traditionally addressed in the general chemistry curriculum, and are widely available to chemistry instructors and students.
Our visualization tools are designed so that they can be displayed on a large screen using a video projector in the classroom. They have been developed as stand-alone Java applets or Flash movies that instructors can easily access and display in conjunction with conventional overheads or Power Point slides. These resources work virtually as interactive digital overheads (IDOs) that instructors may use to better explain a concept or idea, to start and guide a discussion, or to pose questions or problems to their students. Their generic design allows users to adapt the tools to their particular interests and needs.
The development of our IDOs is in part motivated by the recognition that although chemistry instructors may share similar learning goals, many of them have varied ideas about what kinds of questions or problems are best suited to help students comprehend or apply a concept, when it is most appropriate to introduce an idea during a course, and how to most effectively engage students in thinking about chemical phenomena. In that sense, our IDOs are not prescriptive tools embedded in a rigid learning environment linked to a particular textbook, webpage, or software package. Rather, they are a collection of digital web-based teaching tools, highly adaptable to diverse teaching needs and styles, and designed to foster conceptual understanding of chemistry via interactive visualization. The development of these resources has been guided by results from educational research on visualization in chemistry, alternative conceptions, and how people learn.
In order to make it easier to find the right application, tools are classified by topic on the main page. These topics include: microscopic world, atomic structure, molecular structure, states of matter, chemical reactions, chemical kinetics, and chemical equilibrium. Simple instructions and basic plug-in requirements for each of the tools are displayed before the user selects any of these resources.