Chemical Education Research Committee Report, Spring 2011

Committee on Chemical Education Research (CCER)
Michael J. Sanger, Chair (2008-2010)

 This committee would like to thank Robert Blake, Dawn Del Carlo, Dan Domin, Tyson Miller, and Michael J. Sanger for their years of service on this committee.  We would like to welcome Renee Cole, Nathaniel Grove, and Jessica Vanden Plas onto the committee.  With the loss of two lines on this committee, there are now 12 voting members including the chair and secretary (down from 14 members).

Chemical Education Research (CER) Symposia at National Meetings
 Douglas Mulford and Bill Robinson organized the ‘Chemical Education Research’ symposia for the 21st BCCE in Denton, TX.  There were 56 presentations that appeared in 7 sessions.  The presiders included Christopher Bauer, Ann Cutler, Douglas Muford, Bill Robinson, and Ellen Yezierski.

 Gautam Bhattacharyya organized the ‘Chemical Education Research’ symposia for the 240th National ACS Meeting in Boston, MA.  There were 14 presentations given in these symposia.

 Barbara Gonzalez and Kareen Monteyne have organized the ‘Chemical Education Research’ symposium for the 241st National Meeting of the ACS in Anaheim, CA. Diane Bunce, Samuel Pazicni, and Vickie Williamson have organized the very first ‘Peer-Reviewed Chemical Education Research’ symposium.  Although the technical program for this meeting has not been released, there are currently two CER symposia and one peer-reviewed CER symposium scheduled for this meeting.

 Plans are currently underway for the ‘Chemical Education Research’ symposia at the 242nd National Meeting of the ACS in Denver, CO, under the direction of Michael J. Sanger.

Peer-Reviewed Oral Presentations at the ACS Meeting in Anaheim
 For several years, the CCER has discussed the possibility of creating a “peer-reviewed” symposium on Chemical Education Research at a National ACS or BCCE meeting.  Diane Bunce, Sam Pazicni, and Vickie Williamson volunteered to organize a peer-reviewed CER symposium at the ACS Meeting in Anaheim.  Pazicni and Williamson reported their progress on this symposium to the CCER meeting at the BCCE in Denton, TX.  The symposium has been approved, and the 1000-word abstracts for this symposium were due ( on September 1, 2010.  The submissions were peer-reviewed by three chemical education researchers and the authors were notified in October whether or not they were invited to submit a formal abstract to this session.  Authors who were not invited to submit an abstract to this session will be encouraged to submit to the non-peer-reviewed session organized by Barbara Gonzalez and Kareen Monteyne or other relevant sessions.

Increasing the Number of Nominations for the ACS Award in Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry
 In June 2010, the CCER was given a charge by the Chair of the Division of Chemical Education (DivCHED) to discuss, consider, and devise a way to address the recommendation from ACS that the DivCHED work with its members to encourage more nominations for this award by the November 1, 2010 nomination deadline.

 This topic was discussed at length in the CCER Meeting at the BCCE in Denton, TX.  In order to keep this award in good standing, there needs to be at least 10 nominees each year.  Michael Abraham volunteered to chair a subcommittee to work on increasing the number of nominations for this award.  Tom Greenbowe and Michael Sanger agreed to work with him on this process.  The committee and friends at the Denton meeting of the CCER also worked on a list of prospective nominees for this award.  The subcommittee has this list of nominees and will work to ensure that these candidates will be nominated.  The subcommittee also asks that anyone who is nominating a colleague for this award to send a courtesy e-mail to one of the subcommittee members so they can adequately track the number of candidates nominated for this award.

New Directions for the Committee on Chemical Education Research
 The rest of the CCER Meeting at the BCCE in Denton, TX, was devoted to brainstorming new directions for the CCER committee to address and new issues to tackle.  These topics included:
(1) Updating the CCER page on the DivCHED website to include resources needed by those doing chemical education research (looking at the physics education website of the American Physical Society/Physics Education Research website for inspiration).
(2) Creating symposia on applying the results of CER to the chemistry classroom and interpreting these results for practitioners.
(3) Creating jointly-sponsored (e.g., DivCHED and Division of Organic Chemistry or Physical Chemistry) symposia at ACS meetings that would allow chemical education researchers to share their results with practicing chemists (professors who teach these topics) and would allow the practicing chemists to share their best practices in the classroom with their chemistry and chemical education colleagues.

Current Membership of CCER
Vickie M. Williamson, chair (Texas A & M University),

Gautum Bhattacharyya (Clemson University)
Diane Bunce (The Catholic University of America)
Renee Cole (University of Central Missouri)
Melanie Cooper (Clemson University)
Nathaniel Grove (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Deborah Herrington (Grand Valley State University)
Willie Hunter (Illinois State University)
Greg Rushton (Kennesaw State University)
Cianán Russell (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Jessica Vanden Plas (Northern Arizona University)
Ningfeng Zhao (East Tennessee State University)

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