The Development and Validation of a Visual-Spatial Chemistry Specific (VSCS) Assessment Tool

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Title: The Development and Validation of a Visual-Spatial Chemistry Specific (VSCS) Assessment Tool
Author: Christian, Caroline Maria
Advisors: Dr. Reza Ghiladi, Committee Member
Dr. Jerry Whitten, Committee Member
Dr. Gail Jones, Committee Member
Dr. Maria Oliver-Hoyo, Committee Chair
Abstract: Visual-perceptual skills are often overlooked in chemistry classrooms despite research showing a positive correlation between college students’ visual-perceptual abilities and problem-solving skills and negative correlations between visual-perceptual aptitudes and failure rates. Chemistry instructors are rarely formally trained in the nature of visual-spatial fields and may not be aware of its importance and relevance. Extensive research has been performed on general assessments intended to analyze students’ visual-perceptual abilities, yet these tests have not been combined into one easily administered and valid predictor of visual-perceptual ability for chemistry student. There has also been postulated a connection between success in chemistry and students’ ability to perceive molecules in different representations. The Visual-Spatial Chemistry Specific Assessment tool has been developed to address these concerns based on a theoretical framework. Its validity has been examined with regards to content, concurrent, and construct validity. The VSCS has been administrated to 816 students enrolled in general, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry courses.
Date: 2009-03-16
Degree: MS
Discipline: Chemistry

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