Looking for ConfChem? ConfChem now resides at its new site, confchem.ccce.divched.org

Fall 2010 CCCE Newsletter

Newsletter Date: 
November 15, 2010 - December 23, 2010
Editor: 
Resa Kelly
1. Harry E. Pence What is the best search engine for chemists?
2. Masato M. Ito Introduction of the WWW-based teaching and learning material for organic chemistry in the university
3. William J. Vining A fully assignable electronic textbook
4. Lauri McCormic McDonald Anecdotal uses of facebook, google calendar, and cell phones in a high school classroom
5. Jerry E. Honts Resources and strategies for creating molecular animations
6. Melanie M. Cooper, Sonia M. Underwood, Nathaniel P. Grove, Sam P. Bryfczynski, and Roy Pargas OrganicPad: A freehand interactive application of the development of representational competence
7. Katherine Perkins, Kelly Lancaster, Patricia Loeblein, Robert Parson, and Noah Podolefsky PhET interactive simulations: New tools for teaching and learningn chemistry
8. Sheila Woodgate and David Titheridge BestChoice: Learning how to teach interactively over the web
9. Angel Herráez "DIY Molecules" - A web application to build your own 3D chemical structures

The schedule for discussion is as follows:
 
1. November 15-17
 - Harry E. Pence
What is the best search engine for chemists?
 
2. November 18-21  - Sheila Woodgate and David Titheridge
BestChoice: Learning how to teach interactively over the web
 
3. November 22-24
 - William J. Vining
A fully assignable electronic textbook
 
Thanksgiving Break
 
4. November 29-December 1
 - Lauri McCormick McDonald
Anecdotal uses of facebook, google calendar, and 
cell phones in a high school classroom
 
5. December 2-5 - 
Jerry E. Honts
Resources and strategies for creating molecular animations
 
6. December 6-8 - 
Melanie M. Cooper, Sonia M. Underwood, Nathaniel
P. Grove, Sam P. Bryfczynski, and Roy Pargas
OrganicPad: A freehand interactive application of the development of representational competence
 
7. December 9-12
 - Katherine Perkins, Kelly Lancaster, Patricia
 Loeblein, Robert Parson, and Noah Podolefsky
PhET interactive simulations: New tools for teaching and learning chemistry
 
 
8. December 13-15
 - 
Masato M. Ito
Introduction of the WWW-based teaching and learning material for organic chemistry in the university
 
9. December 16-19 - 
Angel Herráez
"DIY Molecules" - A web application to build your own 3D chemical structures
 
10. December 20-22 - 
Karen Lippe
Students do not read chemistry textbooks anymore
 
Articles
Angel Herráez, PhD. Dep. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Alcalá. 28871 Alcalá de Henares, Spain

Perceiving molecules as three-dimensional entities is an essential ability to be acquired by students in chemistry and biochemistry. Nowadays plenty of tools are available that allow students to visualize 3D models of chemical structures and even to interact with them on the computer screen using mouse, keyboard and user interface controls like buttons or pull-down menus.

Sheila Woodgate and David Titheridge, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

The BestChoice web site (bestchoice.net.nz) was born in 2002 out of a desire to offer additional learning support to students in large first-year university courses. The aim was to create web-based activities that modeled a one-on-one interchange with an experienced teacher. Thus it was intended that content be developed systematically, using both information and question pages, and that users receive instructive feedback in response to their answers.

<p>Author name</p>

The Chemistry Education Research community has long recognized the power of animations and visualizations in the teaching and learning of chemistry (e.g. Jones and Smith, 1993; Burke et al., 1998; Tasker, 2005; Jones et al., 2005; Williamson and Jose, 2009; Sanger, 2009; Bishop and Kelly, 2009). Simulations also have the potential to transform the way science is taught and learned, and are increasingly becoming a focus of research. Simulations can be highly interactive and dynamic, make the invisible visible, scaffold inquiry by what is displayed and what is controlled, provide multiple representations, and allow safe (both physically and psychologically) multiple trials and rapid inquiry cycles. Perhaps most important, they make learning fun and engaging. Simulations can be readily disseminated and incorporated into today's classrooms - they are easily distributed over the web, often for free, and can be designed to allow for flexible use that addresses a variety of learning goals.

Katherine Perkins, Kelly Lancaster, Patricia Loeblein, Robert Parson, and Noah Podolefsky University of Colorado at Boulder

The Chemistry Education Research community has long recognized the power of animations and visualizations in the teaching and learning of chemistry (e.g. Jones and Smith, 1993; Burke et al., 1998; Tasker, 2005; Jones et al., 2005; Williamson and Jose, 2009; Sanger, 2009; Bishop and Kelly, 2009). Simulations also have the potential to transform the way science is taught and learned, and are increasingly becoming a focus of research. Simulations can be highly interactive and dynamic, make the invisible visible, scaffold inquiry by what is displayed and what is controlled, provide multiple representations, and allow safe (both physically and psychologically) multiple trials and rapid inquiry cycles. Perhaps most important, they make learning fun and engaging. Simulations can be readily disseminated and incorporated into today's classrooms - they are easily distributed over the web, often for free, and can be designed to allow for flexible use that addresses a variety of learning goals.

Melanie M. Cooper*(a), Sonia M. Underwood(a), Nathaniel P. Grove(b), Sam P. Bryfczynski(c), Roy Pargas(c)

One reason chemistry poses a challenge to both learners and teachers is that, for robust conceptual understanding, students must understand how and why molecular level structure affects reactivity and properties. Much has been written on the difficulties students have in translating between a symbolic, molecular, and macroscopic understanding of chemistry (1, 2) and most modern texts go to great lengths to provide multiple representations to students.1 Lewis structures are probably the most important of the symbolic representations that students encounter. Students must master not only what the representations mean, but also how and why they are constructed, and what they are used (and useful) for. Unfortunately, many students have great difficulty both drawing and using Lewis structures. For example in our work we have seen that the majority of students (even in an organic chemistry course) do not appear to use structures to predict properties in a meaningful way (3). Many students (and perhaps some instructors) confuse the rules for drawing structures with the concepts that underlie bonding, resulting in students who believe that bonds form because atoms "want" or "need" an octet (4, 5). Indeed the idea that Lewis structures are symbolic representations may well be lost on many students (for example: if asked what the bond angle is in methane, when presented with a typical Lewis structure, many students will answer 90 ).