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Understanding of Symmetry: Measuring the Contribution of Virtual and Concrete Models for Students with Different Spatial Abilities

Thayban Thayban, Habiddin Habiddin, Yudhi Utomo, Muarifin Muarifin


Virtual and concrete models have been of interest in chemistry teaching to improve students' understanding of a three-dimensional representation of chemical concepts such as symmetry. This study aims to determine the effectiveness of using concrete and virtual models on students' understanding of symmetry. Students' understanding was also explored in light of their spatial ability. The study was conducted using a quasi-experimental design with 62 students as participants. Two different instruments, spatial ability and understanding of symmetry tests, were employed for data collection. Data analysis was performed using the Pearson product-moment correlation and two-way variance analysis test. The results showed the virtual model's contribution to improving students' understanding of symmetry is higher than that of the concrete model for both students with high spatial ability (HSA) and low spatial ability (LSA). Also, the better students' spatial ability, the better their understanding of molecular symmetry. 


Virtual Model; Concrete Model; Molecular Symmetry; Spatial Ability

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Copyright (c) 2020 Thayban Thayban, Habiddin Habiddin, Yudhi Utomo, Muarifin Muarifin

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