Downey, Kaitlin M. and Barrows, Nathan, "Modeling Problem Solving: Creating and Evaluating" (2009). Student Summer Scholars. 33.
The purpose of this project was to create novice-level screencasts and to investigate students’ perceptions and usage of them. A survey of 61 general chemistry students revealed polarity, Lewis structures, molecular geometry, and bond polarity to be topics of greatest concern. Over 25 screencasts were created using Camtasia Studio software and a Dell TabletPC. A blog (http://mi-chemed.net) was created to host the tutorials and monitor student usage. After students registered and logged in to the blog, their viewing patterns were recorded. They were encouraged to comment on the content and technical features of the videos (e.g. animations). Online comments and student interviews were generally positive; their constructive criticism prompted several improvements to the website's organization and content. For example, a difficulty scale was added and each tutorial was assigned a rating. This helped students select a starting point of viewing tutorials of appropriate difficulty.