New visualization tools for learning molecular symmetry: A preliminary evaluation

Inbal Tuvi-Arad, Paul Gorsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A Website that helps students visualize and locate symmetry elements on three-dimensional molecular structures was developed. It includes textual explanations, an interactive example window and a Microsoft-Excel based symmetry toolkit that enables students to draw symmetry elements in three dimensions. Preliminary qualitative research aimed at exploring how students learned with this tool was performed. It was found that the three-dimensional graphical capabilities of the toolkit (1) helped students overcome difficulties in three-dimensional visualization, (2) enabled students to find symmetry elements of complex molecules generally not accessible from drawings and (3) contributed to a deeper understanding of molecular structure and Chemical symmetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry Education Research and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Molecular symmetry
  • Molecular visualization
  • Point-group symmetry operations
  • Spatial ability
  • Web based learning


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