n South African Journal of Higher Education - Using computer simulations to improve concept formation in Chemistry

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



It is a well established fact that many students find it difficult to understand chemical concepts, because chemistry is a multifaceted discipline, requiring complex thinking and reasoning. By incorporating more visual material into a chemistry lecture, the lecturer may succeed in restricting the overloading of the students' short-term memory, many a time the major factor leading to misconceptions. The goal of this research project was to investigate whether computer simulations used as a visually-supporting teaching strategy, can improve concept formation with regard to molecules and chemical bonding, as found in water. Both the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of responses supported the positive outcome of the implementation of computer simulations as a teaching aid. Maximum benefit should be reaped from available technological developments to ensure quality education to all learners in chemistry.

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