Exploring the Role of Viewing Technologies in the Chemistry Classroom

  • Kassem Ayman Omar Student
  • Dr. Vivian Mozol Senior instructor at U of C


Spatial ability is an important tool in chemistry and this ability can be improved. Various technologies have been used to improve spatial ability. However, it is not clear if viewing technologies should take the place of the model kit; the traditional method of learning about molecular structures. Our research aims to address this gap. In our study, we aimed to take advantage of student affinity to technology to drive spatial ability improvements (in the context of chemistry) by having students experience molecules in virtual space using modern viewing technologies (WBVE, AR, and VR). Students were first engaged with the technologies then were assessed to see if their ability to solve problems relating to 3D-molecular structure improved. The mean spatial ability of students improved over the course of the semester (permutation test, p < 0.05) and students using model kits scored higher than those using the technologies (t-test, p < 0.05). The collection and assessment of anonymous, aggregated, student responses for this study was conducted with the approval of the University of Calgary ethics board (REB13-0724).   

Author Biographies

Kassem Ayman Omar, Student

Kassem Ayman Omar has completed his Bachelor of Science in Natural Science (Biology and Chemistry) at the University of Calgary. Kassem is now pursuing a Bachelor of Education at the University of Calgary. Kassem is interested in the role education plays in healthy development. He strives to gain the experience and knowledge necessary to aid him in being a productive contributor to the field of education.

Dr. Vivian Mozol, Senior instructor at U of C

Dr. Vivian Mozol is a senior instructor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Calgary.  Vivian is interested in teaching and learning strategies that help develop students’ critical thinking and visualization skills through the use of experiential activities.  

Design Thinking and Experiential Learning