Assessment of Molecular Construction in Undergraduate Biochemistry
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Undergraduate students in nine classes at eastern and southeastern universities in the U.S. were evaluated regarding their attitudes towards the use of molecular visualization in biochemistry lecture courses. All classes used the same visualization software (Kinemage) in lecture and homework. Approximately two-thirds of these students, the treatment group, constructed or "authored" a series of annotated images of a macromolecular topic, usually a protein complex or protein family. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis revealed that the student authors felt they learned more than the control group students and that constructing molecular images was an effective learning tool. Perceived difficulties included the time commitment of the student authors and the challenge of learning unfamiliar software. In addition to the attitudinal assessment, a molecular graphics-based performance assessment in one class (which had both treatment group and control group students) showed no significant difference between the treatment and control group. In summary, students believe that actually constructing a molecular illustration is a more effective vehicle of student learning than viewing and manipulating molecular images. Evaluating the effectiveness regarding student learning of these new pedagogical approaches to teaching with molecular visualization will require design of new performance assessment instruments.
Journal of Chemical Education
Richardson, D. C.,
Richardson, J. S.,
Weiner, S. W.,
Bateman, R. C.
(2005). Assessment of Molecular Construction in Undergraduate Biochemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 82(12), 1854-1858.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/9065