Project Title

An Investigation of Cognitive Load of General Chemistry Students Using a Virtual Modeling Activity

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)

Reducing the cognitive load of students in STEM classes will allow them to learn more efficiently and focus more on the essential components in these courses. In general chemistry specifically, increasing the conceptual understanding of structure function relationships can decrease the cognitive load. The goal is to minimize the cognitive load of the general chemistry curriculum to provide more cognitive capacity for learning. At the beginning of a General Chemistry I course, a survey was administered that measured spatial ability and conceptual understanding. Thirteen right-handed students with varying spatial skills were identified to participate in the stimulated learning environment. The learning environment consisted of a virtual learning activity focused on intermolecular forces. To determine the level of cognition and the area of the brain that was triggered by the modeling activity, the brain activity of the student was recorded using electroencephalogram (EEG). Preliminary results focusing on patterns in student completion of the activity, usage of the model, and brain activation will be discussed.

Project Type

Poster

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An Investigation of Cognitive Load of General Chemistry Students Using a Virtual Modeling Activity

Reducing the cognitive load of students in STEM classes will allow them to learn more efficiently and focus more on the essential components in these courses. In general chemistry specifically, increasing the conceptual understanding of structure function relationships can decrease the cognitive load. The goal is to minimize the cognitive load of the general chemistry curriculum to provide more cognitive capacity for learning. At the beginning of a General Chemistry I course, a survey was administered that measured spatial ability and conceptual understanding. Thirteen right-handed students with varying spatial skills were identified to participate in the stimulated learning environment. The learning environment consisted of a virtual learning activity focused on intermolecular forces. To determine the level of cognition and the area of the brain that was triggered by the modeling activity, the brain activity of the student was recorded using electroencephalogram (EEG). Preliminary results focusing on patterns in student completion of the activity, usage of the model, and brain activation will be discussed.