Upcoming Events


The future is now? 20 years after "The Future Shape of Chemistry Education"
Friday, September 15 at 1100am Pacific = noon Mountain = 100pm Central = 200pm Eastern


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Peter Mahaffy, PhD

The King's University, Edmonton, AB, Canada


Abstract: In 2004, a naïve but forward-looking chemistry educator published a paper (1) introducing “tetrahedral chemistry education” as a metaphor to help frame needed changes to our understanding of how students learn and to better connect chemistry education to emerging 21st Century human and environmental challenges. 20 years later, now graying, that humble educator looks back at the vision of his younger counterpart and reflects on how chemistry education has (and has not) responded to the forces shaping the teaching and learning of chemistry. He will introduce new tools and approaches based on systems thinking (2) that show promise in helping to shape the next 20 years of chemistry education research and practice.

(1) Mahaffy, P. (2004). “The future shape of chemistry education,” Chemistry Education Research & Practice, 5(3), 229-245.
(2) Mahaffy, P. G.; Matlin, S. A.; Holme, T. A.; MacKellar. (2019) J. Systems thinking for educating about the molecular basis of sustainability. Nature Sustainability, 2, 362–370.


Student Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions in General Chemistry and Throughout STEM Courses Taught "Through" Climate Justice
Friday, September 22, 2023, at 1100 Pacific = noon Mountain = 100pm Central = 200pm Eastern


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Sonya Remington-Doucette, PhD

Bellevue College, WA


Abstract: C-JUSTICE is an NSF IUSE project that engages faculty and students in STEM education in which social justice issues that arise through climate impacts, civic engagement for systemic change, positive stories of empowerment, and systems thinking are “threaded” through traditional discipline-specific 100- and 200-level STEM courses. C-JUSTICE has two parts: (1) a faculty professional development (PD) curriculum that supports the development of modules that integrate these topics into STEM courses and (2) a 1st quarter General Chemistry course that includes these topics. Dr. Sonya Remington-Doucette (PI) will describe the PD curriculum developed alongside Dr. Heather Price (IUSE Co-PI). She will also describe in details how she “threads” these topics throughout her General Chemistry course to ensure full coverage of chemistry content, including newly developed laboratory experiments. Finally, she will present the results of pre-post quarter student perception surveys and case study analysis administered to students the 2022-23 academic year. Results show statistically significant changes in students’ social consciousness, STEM-to-society connections, capacity for civic engagement, and systems thinking skills, as well as their views on science as a tool for social change and social injustice as a core issue in the climate crisis. The PIs seek community college collaborators for future work on both the PD curriculum and General Chemistry, so please attend and/or contact Sonya if you are interested.


Why All the Mechanisms? A Non-Organic Chemist Teaching Organic Chemistry- Heresy!
Friday, October 6, 2023 at 1100 Pacific = noon Mountain = 100pm Central = 200pm Eastern


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Scott Donnelly

Arizona Western College


Abstract: Historically, reaction mechanisms (arrow pushing) and functional group nomenclature are seminal principles covered in first semester sophomore organic chemistry (OChem 1). Time spent teaching mechanisms and nomenclature is time not spent teaching something else. Suppose then OChem 1 was taught with limited emphasis on reaction mechanisms and nomenclature was covered only on a need-to-know or Just-in-Time-Teaching (JiTT) style? That's what the presenter does. So that begs the question- What then is taught instead to fill the 'void' created by limiting the topic coverage of mechanisms and nomenclature?


How can a chatbot support student learning in chemistry? Comparing the performance of chemistry students and ChatGPT on questions with different format.
Friday, October 13 at 1100am Pacific = noon Mountain = 100pm Central = 200pm Eastern


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Ted M. Clark, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Ohio State University


Abstract: The output of ChatGPT and student performance has been compared for chemistry questions having different formats, including multiple-choice, open-response, and calculations. The accuracy of the chatbot’s responses varied for different topics and its potential educational uses may depend on its performance vis-à-vis students for different aspects of problem solving. For questions in which the chatbot’s performance is high and address student errors it could support pre-class instruction. For questions in which it exhibits strong problem conceptualization but struggled with the problem strategy, activities centered on the student analysis of its reasoning patterns may be beneficial.


5-Year Assessment of the Chemistry Program in a Two-Year College
Friday, October 27, 2023 at 1100 Pacific = noon Mountain = 100pm Central = 200pm Eastern


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Keith Baessler, PhD and Jonathan Brockman, PhD

Suffolk County Community College


Abstract: Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) is the largest community college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, and provides students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines with academic resources to prepare them for future careers. The Liberal Arts and Sciences: Chemistry Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program is designed for students planning a career in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, scientific research, applied science or the teaching of science in schools and colleges. Since 2018, a 5-year assessment plan of the chemistry program at SCCC has been carried out to evaluate program learning outcomes (PLOs) in College Chemistry I and II, and Organic Chemistry I and II courses. The ACS-Standardized exams and formal lab reports have been used as the main assessment tools. To summarize, students’ results were collected and assessed by two main approaches: 1) A well-established four category criteria (e.g., Did Not Meet Expectations, Approaching Expectations, Met Expectations and Exceeded Expectations) by percentage to evaluate student performance in the ACS-Standardized exams and formal lab reports; 2) A question-by-question analysis to determine the percentage of students that gave a correct response on each sub-topic in the ACS-Standardized exams. The assessment results and recommendations by the assessment committee were then reported back to the instructors to reinforce certain topics to improve students’ learning outcomes. These recommendations included: creating workshops and/or problem sets, introducing review sessions prior to exams, providing detailed guidance on core concepts, and giving timely feedback on students’ work. Additionally, it was suggested that computer technology usage be increased, and that state-of-the-art modern lab equipment be acquired. The assessment tools, methods, results and faculty recommendations will be discussed.

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