Prediction! the VSEPR Game: Using Cards and Molecular Model Building to Actively Enhance Students' Understanding of Molecular Geometry

Erlina*, Chris Cane, Dylan P. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Previous work has shown that the formation of misconceptions remains one of the most significant barriers to progress for chemistry students. Determination and visualization of the shapes of molecules using valence shell electron pair repulsion theory (VSEPR theory) is an example of an abstract concept that students often find difficult to learn. Concepts may be better understood if the learning process were supported by innovative, interactive, learning resources. In order to address the conceptual difficulties that students may encounter when using VSEPR theory, an activity has been developed that is supported by simple molecular models. Activity cards give students the opportunity to work through the steps required to predict the shape of a molecule in an engaging manner that promotes social learning. Students were tested before and after the activity. A statistically significant improvement in scores (p = 0.001) was found, which indicates that the activity cards and molecular models could help students understand the topic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-995
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by The Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education (KEMENRISTEKDIKTI) Indonesia, and Tanjungpura University. We also thank the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, our colleagues, and students who were involved in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.


  • Enrichment/Review Materials
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • Hands-On Learning/Manipulatives
  • Humor/Puzzles/Games
  • Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary
  • Misconceptions/Discrepant Events
  • VSEPR Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education


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