Nathaniel Grove Webinar 24th Jan

With Guest Chair Dr Niki Kaiser

About this seminar

What can cognitive science teach us about Lewis structures? Using physiological data to explore the relationship between cognitive load and Lewis structure construction

Mastering the ability to construct and manipulate Lewis structures is an important first step along the journey to reaching representational competence. Lewis structures serve as a convenient organizational scheme that can help students to scaffold their chemical knowledge and to apply it to predict a variety of physical and chemical properties. Our previous research documented the many problems that students encountered in developing these skills and suggested that cognitive load may play an important role in the successful construction of Lewis structures.  This presentation will highlight our efforts to understand the complex interplay between cognitive load and students’ abilities to construct Lewis structures.  Specifically, the structural characteristics that induce load will be discussed as will the selection of appropriate educational technology for novice learners.


  • Unraveling the Complexities: An Investigation of the Factors That Induce Load in Chemistry Students Constructing Lewis Structures, 2017, Journal of Chemical Education94(3), 282-288.
  • Balok, R. S. et al., “Connecting form and function: Understanding the role that cognitive load plays in students’ ability to construct representations of chemical structure.” In Cognitive Load Measurement and Application: A Theoretical
    Framework for Meaningful Research and Practice, Robert Zheng (Ed.) Routledge: New York (2018).

CERGinar Nathaniel Grove


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