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The use of Augmented Reality Technology in Chemistry Teaching
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. (UGARD)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7688-651x
2019 (English)In: Fjärde nationella konferensen i Pedagogiskt arbete, Umeå, 19-20 augusti, 2019 / [ed] Per-Olof Erixon, Umeå, 2019Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose/goals: Traditionally in chemistry teaching, molecules are visualized on paper or on a whiteboard/screen, i.e. the molecule is drawn in 2D. However, one basic problem many students are struggling with in basic organic chemistry is the conceptual transition (e.g. from 2D to 3D), and research has shown that spatial thinking is very important for the understanding of chemistry [1][2]. This presentation reports on a study exploring how university students are perceiving the use of augmented reality technology (AR) in chemistry teaching. More specifically, the aim is to explore and understand what opportunities and challenges students perceive when using AR-technology for enhancing their transition from a 2D representation of a molecule to the 3D structure visualised by AR-glasses.

Method: The study was conducted during the spring of 2019 where a group of university students were able to ‘see’ the 3D structure of a nicotine molecule by using AR-glasses. The empirical material is based on discussions during the test and 14 surveys which the students answered anonymously afterwards.

Theoretical framing: Design-based methods were used in the study [3] for exploring the possibilities as well as the challenges students meet when using, for them, such a new emerging technology as AR. For encoding the collected material, thematic analysis [4] was used for identifying key themes and emerging patterns.

Conclusions: The first preliminary findings illustrate both possibilities and challenges when using AR-technology in chemistry teaching. For example, the students expressed an immersive experience and the 3D molecule was perceived as a very real object in the room, and in addition, felt that the amount of information was larger compared to 2D. The challenges concern quite a narrow field of view of the AR-glasses, and the students would like to have several different molecules to be visualized at the same time so as to be able to compare them with how they actually are represented in 3D.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Augmented Reality, AR, Chemistry Teaching, Higher Education
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
educational work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162415OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-162415DiVA, id: diva2:1344067
Conference
Fjärde nationella konferensen i Pedagogiskt arbete, Umeå, 19-20:e augusti, 2019.
Available from: 2019-08-20 Created: 2019-08-20 Last updated: 2019-08-21Bibliographically approved

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Mårell-Olsson, EvaBroman, Karolina

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