School of Communication and the Arts


Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (MFA)


Chelsea Bass


Organic Chemistry Education, Traditional Teaching Methods, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Interactive Learning, Three-Dimensional Visualization, Student Engagement, Blended Learning Model, Pedagogical Needs, Andragogical Needs, Curriculum Development, Technological Integration, Visual Limitations, Molecular Structures, Educational Framework, Immersive Technology, Learning Outcomes, Piaget's Theory of Self-Learning, Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development, Ship Early, Ship Often Approach, Dynamic Visualizations, Comprehension Improvement, Educational Technologies, Spatial Understanding, Molecular Interactions, Real-time Feedback, Visual Learning, Curriculum Enhancement, Empirical Evidence, Innovation in Education, Digital Transformation, Interactive Textbooks, Learning Engagement, Virtual Laboratories, Educational Outreach, User Experience, High-Fidelity Prototypes, Content Analysis, Visual Solutions, Technological Advancements, Cognitive Development, Student-Centered Learning, Interactive Simulations, Engagement Metrics, Virtual Learning Environments, Teaching Efficacy, Learning Styles, Digital Literacy, User Interaction, Academic Performance, Scientific Visualization, Conceptual Understanding, Technology Adoption, Learning Modalities, Immersive Experiences, Educational Innovation, Feedback Mechanisms, Advanced Learning Tools, Pedagogical Strategies, Andragogical Approaches


Art and Design


The traditional two-dimensional representations in organic chemistry education highlighted the lack of depth and interactivity, impeding student learning, engagement, and comprehension. By emphasizing on the limitations of conventional educational materials, the research advocated for integrating Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies, which enhance organic chemistry visualization. The main objective was to bridge the gap between two and three-dimensional perspectives, offering a more dynamic and interactive learning experience. The thesis aimed to assess traditional teaching methods in organic chemistry—lectures, textbooks, and laboratory exercises. It also aimed to identify their challenges in conveying complex molecular structures and reactions effectively. Additionally, it explored the integration of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) with these conventional methods. The goal had been to develop a cohesive educational framework that combined the strengths of both traditional and modern technological approaches. This blended learning model was meant to improve student engagement and understanding by incorporating dynamic visualizations into lectures as well as interactive content into textbooks. Building on this premise, the research focused on the following questions: 1. What challenges do traditional teaching methods face in teaching organic chemistry concepts adequately? 2. What advantages do VR and AR offer in organic chemistry education compared to traditional methods? 3. What impact do VR and AR technologies have on student engagement in organic chemistry compared to traditional teaching methods? 4. How can VR and AR be tailored to meet pedagogical and andragogical needs in organic chemistry education? 5. Why are VR and AR more effective than traditional methods in enhancing learning in organic chemistry? 6. What are the best strategies for integrating VR and AR into the organic chemistry curricula to enhance learning alongside traditional methods? 7. How can AR and VR in organic chemistry education be aligned with Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development to improve learning outcomes? 8. How can AR and VR be personalized in organic chemistry education to support individual learning and Piaget's theory of self-learning? 9. What are the benefits and challenges of applying the 'Ship Early, Ship Often' approach to developing AR and VR tools in organic chemistry education? Upon the completion of this research, a literature review was conducted additionally as well as visual and content analyses. Based upon the research conducted, a visual solution was created to guide curriculum developers, textbook publishers, researchers, and educators in integrating VR and AR technologies into traditional organic chemistry curricula. The deliverable theory of the visual was a high-fidelity wireframe prototype created for VR and AR in Organic Chemistry, designed to enhance student engagement and understanding by combining immersive technology with traditional teaching methods. The project also featured a responsive website to inform stakeholders about the benefits of this integration, supported by print media like brochures, posters, and billboards for broader outreach and awareness. The high-fidelity wireframe prototype with the responsive website and supporting print media, were crucial elements in reshaping organic chemistry education, bridging the gap between traditional pedagogy and andragogy as well as futuristic learning paradigms.