Dynamic Computer Analogies and Conceptions of Chemical Equilibrium

Vania Chan, Samia Khan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    A computer simulation program that utilizes a dynamic analogy to represent Le Chatelier's Principle was studied to investigate how the analogy contributed to students' conceptions of chemical equilibrium. 46 Grade 12 Chemistry students interacted with the simulation and participated in 3 assessments. Statistical analysis of pre and posttests suggested that students strongly held a misconception that the non-favored reaction rate decreases when the favored reaction rate increases and the dynamic analogy of a weigh scale had the potential to reinforce the misconception. Analysis of molecular drawings revealed notable patterns in how the motion, distribution and ratio of molecules are perceived. Other findings on conceptual gains and the analogy are discussed. The implication of this study for educators and developers is that dynamic analogies can assist students, but limitations of the analogy should be discussed and cues in the simulation could assist with mappings to the target domain.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of E-Learn 2009
    Subtitle of host publicationWorld Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education
    EditorsTheo Bastiaens, Jon Dron, Cindy Xin
    Place of PublicationUnited States
    PublisherAssociation for the Advancement of Computing in Education
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9781880094761
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Chemical Equilibrium
    • chemistry
    • Chemistry Equilibrium
    • Dynamic Equilibrium


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