114 paper
Use of visualisation software to support understanding of chemical equilibrium: The importance of appropriate teaching strategies

Anula Weerawardhana, Brian Ferry
Faculty of Education
University of Wollongong

Christine Brown
University of Wollongong

This paper describes the results of a study in which a group of science pre-service teachers used computer-based visualisation software resources to develop teaching strategies and lessons that would support the development of students’ conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium. They used SMV: CHEM, VisChem and chemistry software packaged with textbooks. The goal was to assist science/chemistry teachers to design lessons that would overcome known difficulties in developing students’ understanding.
Four teaching strategies of one teaching team are described in detail to illustrate the multifaceted nature of the way in which the software resources were used in lessons. Such a process of software deconstruction and resource integration in lesson plans has implications for all teachers of chemistry.

Keywords: visualisation software, conceptual understanding, chemical equilibrium, teaching strategies