Kaitlin Downey

Modeling problem solving: Creating and evaluating student-generated screencasts

The purpose of this research project was to create novice-level screencasts and to investigate students’ perceptions of peer-developed screencasts as instructional aids. To identify a starting topic, 61 general chemistry students were asked to rate 13 chemistry topics based on their 1) perceived level of difficulty and 2) ability to solve related problems without referring to external resources. The survey revealed polarity to be the topic of greatest concern; however, Lewis structures, molecular geometry, and bond polarity were addressed first to provide a strong foundation for a thorough discussion of molecular polarity. To guide the development of the screencasts, the problem-solving context of the course was characterized by 35 days of classroom observations. A total of 25 screencasts averaging 3.5 minutes each were created. Interview scripts were created for focus groups that will be conducted in the fall.

Faculty Mentor: Nathan Barrows, Chemistry


Kaitlin presented at the 21st Biennial Conference on Chemical Education August 1-5, 2010 in Denton, TX.

Page last modified January 21, 2011