Project Title

Determination of the Cognitive Load of Modeling Tasks in Organic Chemistry

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Sponsor Name

Kimberly Cortes

Additional Faculty

Adriane Randolph, Information Systems, arandol3@kennesaw.edu

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Undergraduate students enrolled in chemistry courses typically experience high levels of stress and frustration when trying to visualize chemical compounds using a 3D representation. Increased amounts of stress can be caused by students having a large cognitive load. Previous research has indicated that manipulating physical models of molecular structures can enhance student understanding in courses, such as organic chemistry. However, when processing problems using models, students sometimes require higher cognitive loads due to completing unnecessary tasks that make processing information more complex. This study focused on determining aspects of a physical modeling activity in Organic Chemistry that impact the cognitive load of students. Tobii Glasses 2 was used to track what students looked at when completing the modeling tasks and electroencephalogram (EEG) to determine what part of the brain was activated during the activity. Results discussed will include observations of how students interacted with the models during the activity, what areas of the brain were activated during the activity, and suggestions for improvement of the activity based on the results.

Project Type

Poster

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Determination of the Cognitive Load of Modeling Tasks in Organic Chemistry

Undergraduate students enrolled in chemistry courses typically experience high levels of stress and frustration when trying to visualize chemical compounds using a 3D representation. Increased amounts of stress can be caused by students having a large cognitive load. Previous research has indicated that manipulating physical models of molecular structures can enhance student understanding in courses, such as organic chemistry. However, when processing problems using models, students sometimes require higher cognitive loads due to completing unnecessary tasks that make processing information more complex. This study focused on determining aspects of a physical modeling activity in Organic Chemistry that impact the cognitive load of students. Tobii Glasses 2 was used to track what students looked at when completing the modeling tasks and electroencephalogram (EEG) to determine what part of the brain was activated during the activity. Results discussed will include observations of how students interacted with the models during the activity, what areas of the brain were activated during the activity, and suggestions for improvement of the activity based on the results.