Evaluation of Computer Simulation Experiments in a Senior-Level Capstone ChE Course


  • Scott R. White Purdue University
  • George M. Bodner Purdue University


A systematic evaluation was done on the computer simulations developed for use in the capstone ChE laboratory course at Purdue University.  The study suggests that computer simulations fill a different role than traditional experiments; that the environment in which the simulations are implemented has a major effect on students' perceptions of their value; and that qualitative interview data can play a vital role in understanding the effect of changes in curriculum.

Author Biographies

Scott R. White, Purdue University

Scott R. White is a PhD graduate student in Science Education at Purdue University. He received his BS in Chemistry and Secondary Education Certification in 1992 from Harding University. He received his MS in Chemistry from Purdue University in 1996 with G.M. Bodner. His research interests are in teaching and learning in science and curriculum reform.

George M. Bodner, Purdue University

George M. Bodner is Professor of Chemistry and Education at Purdue. He received his BS in Chemistry from the State University at New York, Buffalo (1969) and his PhD in inorganic and organic chemistry from Indiana University (1972). His research interests are learning theory, overcoming barriers to curriculum reform, and understanding the conditions for appropriate use of technology in teaching and learning chemistry.