Assessing Augmented Reality in Helping Hndergraduate Students to Integrate 2D and 3D Representations of Stereochemistry



Stereochemistry and bond hybridization are important concepts that are presented to students in organic chemistry courses as two-dimensional (2D) representations. These concepts are challenging to grasp and students fail to connect the 2D representations of the molecules with their three-dimensional (3D) properties. In the present study, we examine how an augmented reality (AR) mobile app combining 2D and 3D representations may be used to support understanding of these concepts. To answer this question, students from a 2nd-year organic chemistry course at the University of Toronto, Mississauga were assigned to one of three groups: an AR mobile app group, computer generated 3D model app group, and physical hand-held model group. Following a baseline knowledge assessment and worksheet activities with their respective group's tool, students completed a post-intervention knowledge assessment, answering stereochemistry questions. The results showed that students in the AR group performed better on the knowledge assessment than the physical model group with respect to spatial relationship problems. No difference was found between the AR app group and 3D model group in their performance on the post-intervention knowledge assessment test. Neither was there a difference in the AR and 3D app groups' satisfaction with their tool and confidence in understanding chemistry concepts following use of the apps. These results suggest that a mobile AR app can be a valuable study aid for students learning stereochemistry.

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This Vesalius Trust research poster was presented at the 2017
Association of Medical Illustrators' Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas



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