The December 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: teaching during COVID-19; examining models used by students; chemical structure; game-based learning; interdisciplinary courses; teaching chemistry using plants; laboratory instruction with real-world context; fluorescence; exploring spectroscopy; thermodynamics; chemical education research; from the archives: photography.
Michael Morgan shares a lesson that he has used for many years that not only requires students to explain a topic that they have not been directly taught but also to develop explanations based on previous knowledge. He has used this lesson as a multiday “in-class” assignment and also as an “at-home” independent study. It works well in both scenarios with only minor revision. The lesson is based on Alfred Werner’s work on deducing the structures of coordination compounds.
In this activity, students express their creativity and show their understanding of concept by creating a video for their final project.
In this lab students are given a film canister, a quantity of Alka Seltzer of their own choosing and any materials available in the room to investigate factors that affect the rate of reaction. They work with their groups to create CER boards and then the class engages in a Glow and Grow session. Tips for using this activity in a virtual setting are offered as well.
Using the online simulation tool (Atomsmith Classroom Online) and the ADI framework students investigate the properties of gases, along with two gas laws. An ADI "whiteboard discussion" helps in getting students to really process what the results of experiments mean to us as chemists - and how this leads to expanding our understanding of matter. This activity lends itself to an online classroom.
As many teachers are preparing to teach online, we are revisiting posts from the ChemEd X archives like this one that might be of help. The original Build a Boat challenge was used to help create a classroom culture of teamwork and growth mindset. The author has updated the Build a Boat activity by providing a modified slide show presentation specifically to help those teaching remotely this fall.
AACT has organized eight virtual symposia to provide professional development for teachers this summer. These symposia can truly help teachers plan for the next school year and virtually “see” one another to share ideas and concerns.
Sometimes, your Professional Learning Community is not at your school, but rather with educators from around the world.
Chemistry Education in Times of Disruption
The May 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: understanding structures; digital information and web-based learning; exploring everyday chemistry; curriculum innovations; games for teaching; NMR spectroscopy; examining properties of organic liquids; biochemistry laboratories; analytical and physical chemistry laboratories; computational chemistry; innovative low-cost instruments; research on knowledge and skills for teachers and chemists; from the archives: hands-on chemistry at home.
No one really knows how to immediately transform an in person class to a distance learning environment. We struggle to provide an equitable education, whatever that looks like, for all our students and make accommodations for differences in learning abilities, home lives, internet access, in addition to mental and physical health.