KinChem: A Computational Resource for Teaching and Learning


Sep 16, 2014 - Technology Report ... Journal of Chemical Education 2015 92 (12), 2161-2164 ... Teaching reaction kinetics with chemiluminescence. Andr...
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KinChem: A Computational Resource for Teaching and Learning Chemical Kinetics José Nunes da Silva Júnior,*,† Mary Anne Sousa Lima,† Eduardo Henrique Silva Sousa,† Francisco Serra Oliveira Alexandre,† and Antonio José Melo Leite Júnior‡ †

Departamento de Química Orgânica e Inorgânica, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará 60451-970, Brasil Instituto UFC Virtual, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará 60440-554, Brasil



S Supporting Information *

ABSTRACT: This paper presents a piece of educational software covering a comprehensive number of topics of chemical kinetics, which is available free of charge in Portuguese and English. The software was developed to support chemistry educators and students in the teaching−learning process of chemical kinetics by using animations, calculations, and simulations. Furthermore, this software was thoroughly evaluated by several chemistry educators from many universities in Brazil and abroad; they agreed the software has comprehensive content, is easy to use, and should be employed along with textbooks.

KEYWORDS: First-Year Undergraduate/General, Chemoinformatics, Computer-Based Learning, Kinetics, Undergraduate Research



INTRODUCTION During the past few years, popularization of computers and smartphones along with the wider access to the Internet by students have motivated the use of educational software as teaching tools,1 and several educational software packages were developed for improvement of the teaching and learning process in all areas of Chemistry.2−11 However, there are only a few software or applications available in the Internet for chemical kinetics, and those are still quite basic, exploring a limited number of topics and mostly not very well presented and organized. Due to these issues, we have developed a student-friendly educational software available for download free of charge in Portuguese and English that covers several topics of chemical kinetics. (See the Supporting Information.) This software works mainly on interactivity aiming to support chemistry educators and students beyond textbook to improve the teaching−learning of chemical kinetics.

5. The software should contribute to the improvement of the teaching and learning processes. The software KinChem is user-friendly and easy to navigate and was developed using the Adobe Flash platform12 because it allows easy and efficient development of many functionalities, while making it possible to run in Microsoft Windows. Its content treats in a pedagogically useful manner many introductory chemical kinetics topics encountered in the majority of undergraduate textbooks of general chemistry and in physical chemistry and was organized in 13 different topics: introduction, reaction rates, instantaneous and average rate, rate laws, order of reaction, integrated rate laws, half-life, Arrhenius equation, collision model, catalysis, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, and enzymatic catalysis. KinChem uses a combo box to access all chemical kinetics principles, which are presented through short introductory texts along with graphical simulations and animations. They were prepared and carefully designed by aiming to build a connection to the text and concepts making them easier to be remembered by the user, facilitating the teaching and learning processes. For example, the users can simulate graphs by entering variables in the software such as temperature and nature of gases to study the effect on Arrehnius equations behavior (Figure 1) or can visualize an animation illustrating a mechanism of a heterogeneous catalysis, which occurs in automotive exhaust (Figure 2).



SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT The software structure and interface was developed following five major points: 1. The software should be easy to use. 2. The language should be easy to understand. 3. The content should be comprehensive and suitable for use in higher education. 4. The software should assist the educator in the teaching process when used in the classroom. © XXXX American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

A

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Technology Report

Figure 1. Section within Arrehnius equation topic.

Figure 2. Section within heterogeneous catalysis topic.

Table 1. Distribution of Likert Categories

Additionally, the software offers a quiz containing 30 questions covering all topics presented, where they can verify their knowledge.

Chemistry Educator Responses,a % (n = 35)



Statements for Response

METHODOLOGY OF EVALUATION This software was evaluated by chemistry educators using an electronic form containing seven statements (Table 1). All opinions regarding KinChem were registered using a Likert scale13 for each one of the resources: interface, language, content, and usefulness.

1. 2. 3.



4.

KINCHEM EVALUATION BY CHEMISTRY EDUCATORS KinChem was tested and evaluated by 35 chemistry educators, where 15 of them were from our own university, 16 educators were from other 14 Brazilian universities, and 4 educators were from 4 universities abroad. The group of evaluators was composed of 67% of males and 33% of females, ranging from 1 to 42 years of teaching experience in higher education. These numbers are equivalent to an average of 10.1 years of teaching experience for the evaluators, where 40% had over 10 years of experience and 89% had already taught chemical kinetics.

5. 6. 7.

The software is easy to use. Language used in the software is easy to understand. Software contents are comprehensive and suitable for use in higher education. The software can assist the educator in the teaching process when used in the classroom. The software can contribute to the improvement of student learning. The use of the software during class can increase student interest. The software can be recommended to students as a supplementary resource to textbooks.

TA

A

M

D

TD

50 58

44 42

6 0

0 0

0 0

47

42

6

6

0

47

44

6

3

0

56

31

11

3

0

44

36

17

3

0

58

33

6

0

3

a

TA, totally agree; A, agree; M, maybe; D, disagree; TD, totally disagree.



The traditional chemistry teaching process can become much more appealing and effective to students when permeated with interactive technological tools. Once the visualization of graphics such as molecular modeling and animations provide a clearer and detailed idea of molecular dynamics and interactions, it brings a new layer of learning into place. Textbooks usually do not provide enough information to create a clear picture of the phenomenon in the student’s mind.17,18

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Currently, society has faced a fast growing and widespread use of personal computers and other portable electronic devices, which has caused a clear influence in scientific education.14,15 Some science educators believe computer animations (also called computer simulators), particularly, can have a large impact on teaching and learning scientific concepts.16 B

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(9) Ayres, A. C. S.; Sousa, M. P.; Merçon, F.; Santos, N.; Rapello, C. N. Titulando 2004: Um Software para o Ensino de Quı ́mica. Quı ́m. Nova Esc. 2005, 22, 35−37. (10) Silva, J. N., Jr.; Barbosa, F. G.; Leite, A. J. M., Jr.; Eduardo, V. M. Ressonância: Desenvolvimento, Utilizaçaõ e Avaliaçaõ de um Software Educacional. Quim. Nova 2014, 37, 373−376. (11) Silva, J. N., Jr.; Barbosa, F. G.; Leite, A. J. M., Jr. Poları ́metro Virtual: Desenvolvimento, Utilizaçaõ e Avaliaçaõ de um Software Educacional. Quim. Nova 2012, 35, 1884−1886. (12) Adobe Flash, Adobe Systems Incorporated, 2013. (13) Likert, R. Arch. Psychol. 1932, 140, 1. (14) Ellis, J. D. A Rationale for Using Computers in Science Education. Am. Biol. Teach. 1984, 46, 200−206. (15) Marks, G. H. Computer Simulations in Science Teaching: An Introduction. J. Comput. Math. Sci. Teach. 1982, 1, 18−20. (16) Gladwin, R. P.; Margerison, D.; Walker, S. M. Comput. Educ. 1992, 19, 17−25. (17) Gili Marbach-Ad, G.; Rotbain, Y.; Stavy, R. Using Computer Animation and Illustration Activities to Improve High School Students’ Achievement in Molecular Genetics. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 2008, 45, 273−292. (18) Smith, S.; Stowall, I. Networked Instructional Chemistry: Using Technology to Teach Chemistry. J. Chem. Educ. 1996, 73, 911−915.

Based on this, we decided to develop an organized and broad content software on chemical kinetics that could cover the most common topics present in textbooks. This software, called KinChem, is available free of charge for download at the Web site http://www.quimica.ufc.br/KinChem. The majority of evaluators also agreed that KinChem covers all five major points which motivated its development. Additionally, they also agree that the use of this software during class can increase student interest and should be recommended as a supplementary resource to textbooks (Table 1).



CONCLUSIONS This software has been very well scored by all evaluators, showing their overwhelming satisfaction and likely usage of KinChem in classes as well as an extra online tool to complement textbooks. The interactivity and multimedia approaches offered by KinChem can have a significant impact on the teaching−learning process, where the evaluators and we believe it can increase student motivation, interest and understanding. As this software is available in Portuguese and English, it can reach a much broader audience and help to improve the teaching−learning process of chemical kinetics.



ASSOCIATED CONTENT

S Supporting Information *

Two Flash files (English and Portuguese versions); description of the educational software. These materials are available via Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.



AUTHOR INFORMATION

Corresponding Author

*E-mail: [email protected] Notes

The authors declare no competing financial interest.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors are thankful to all chemistry educators that provided their evaluation of KinChem.



REFERENCES

(1) Valente, J. A. Computadores e Conhecimento: Repensando a Educação; Gráfica da Unicamp: Campinas, Brasil, 1993. (2) Marson, G. A.; Torres, B. B. Fostering Multi-representational Levels of Chemical Concepts: A Framework to Develop Educational Software. J. Chem. Educ. 2011, 88, 1616−1622. (3) Marson, G. A.; Torres, B. B. Principles of Gel Permeation Chromatography. J. Chem. Educ. 2006, 83, 1567−1568. (4) Yokaichiya, D. K.; Fraceto, L. F.; Miranda, M. A.; Galembeck, E.; Torres, B. B. AMPc-Sinalizaçaõ Intracelular: Um Software Educacional. Quim. Nova 2004, 27, 489−491. (5) Yokaichiya, D. K.; Galembeck, E. Radicais Livres de Oxigênio: Um Software Introdutório. Quim. Nova 2000, 23, 267−269. (6) Lona, L. M. F.; F, A. N.; Roque, M. C.; Rodrigues, S. Developing and Educational Software for Heat Exchangers and Heat Exchangers Networks Projects. Comput. Chem. Eng. 2000, 24, 1247−1252. (7) Eichler, M.; Pino, J. C. D. Computadores em Educaçaõ Quı ́mica: Estrutura Atômica e Tabela Periódica. Quim. Nova 2000, 23, 835−840. (8) Benite, A. M. C.; Benite, C. R. M.; Silva Filho, S. M. Cibercultura em Ensino de Quı ́mica: Elaboraçaõ de um Objeto Virtual de Aprendizagem para o Ensino de Modelos Atômicos. Quı ́m. Nova Esc. 2011, 33, 71−76. C

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