Committee on Computers in Chemical Education Report, Fall 2015

Robert E. Belford, Chair [rebelford@ualr.edu]

The Committee on Computers in Chemical Education is a standing committee of the Division of Chemical Education, which according to the bylaws “seeks to encourage, publicize and support the development, implementation and assessment of computing technologies in chemical education”. The CCCE runs an annual Fall online newsletter, and as a service to the general chemical education community hosts the online ConfChem conferences, both of which can be accessed through our web site, http://confchem.ccce.divched.org/ .

The Spring 2016 ConfChem will be on Science, Disarmament, and Diplomacy in Chemistry Education: The Example of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. This ConfChem is organized by Jonathan E. Foreman of OPCW and Robert E. Belford of the CCCE. Further information can be found at http://confchem.ccce.divched.org/2016SpringConfChem.

The Spring 2017 ConfChem will be on Mathematics in First-Year Chemistry Instruction. This ConfChem is organized by Cary Kilner and Eric Nelson and further information can be found at http://confchem.ccce.divched.org/2017SpringConfChem .

The CCCE is also running an intercollegiate course in Cheminformatics this Fall in collaborationwith ACS CINF.  Fall of 2015 and further information can be found in the OLCC section of this newsletter or the course website, http://olcc.ccce.divched.org/. This course will be offered at OSU (Ohio State), WVU, UNF, Centre College and UALR, and we plan to offer a second course in the Spring of 2017.

The CCCE is sponsoring the following symposium for the Spring 2016 251st ACS National Meeting in San Diego.

Homework: Past, Present, and Future
Organizer(s) name/email: Michelle Richards-Babb (mrichar2@wvu.edu), Erik Epp (eepp@webassign.net) and John Penn (jpenn2@wvu.edu)
Abstract:   The nature of homework has changed dramatically over the years, as electronically web-accessible homework can be structured and assigned. This brings pedagogical advantages for both faculty and students. Yet, there is still discussion about the teaching effectiveness of homework methodology and whether there is truly an advantage to electronic methodology. This symposium is intended to bring together the leaders in the field of homework (whether general chemistry or organic chemistry) to discuss the advantages and the pitfalls of recent advances in electronically deliverable homework.

Computer-Aided Data Analysis in Chemical Education Research (CADACER)
Organizer(s) name/email: Tanya Gupta (tanya.gupta@sdstate.edu ); David Cartrette (David.Cartrette@sdstate.edu ) & Akash Mehta (akash.mehta@sdstate.edu)
Abstract:   Chemical Education has seen a rapid advancement in the past decade. There have been growing discussions among researchers in the chemical education community regarding the theoretical frameworks and the research methods appropriate for conducting studies in chemical education in addition to the discussions on the application of CER in advancing teaching and learning of chemistry in K-12 and higher education institutions. Advances in technology have made chemical education to be a fascinating area of research. With the advent of novel technology based research tools available to the CER community it is also important to discuss the application of computer based tools (software and hardware for example-ATLAS.ti, SPSS, Eye-trackers) that researchers are using for analyzing their data and generating findings. Through this symposium the purpose of organizers is to bring together experts from industry and academia to shed light on the computer assisted data analysis with respect to specific topics in CER, and to provide relevant examples to the audience on how they can use current technology to do authentic research using such technological platforms for qualitative, quantitative and/ or mixed methods of research. 

Fall 2015 InterCollegiate Cheminformatics Course
Organizer(s) name/email: Robert E. Belford (rebelford@ualr.edu), Leah R. McEwen (lrm1@cornell.edu) and Stuart H. Chalk (schalk@unf.edu)
Abstract:   In the Fall of 2015 five universities participated in an experimental course to offer their students a chance to learn some new cheminformatic principles and techniques dealing with the representation of chemicals and chemical data. A unique course management system was developed for this hybrid course that facilitated student interaction with both online cheminformatic guest lecturers and resident teaching faculty. Many of the activities in the class are project based and this symposium will not only provide a chance for both faculty and students to share their experiences with this novel form of curriculum delivery, but provide a chance for students to present their projects, many of which will be designed to connect various aspects of big data repositories and services like PubChem and ChemSpider to the practicing chemist’s workspace through the generation of smart spreadsheets and documents.  A second offering of the course is planned for the spring of 2017.  This symposium is co-sponsored by ACS CHED and CINF and an off-site dinner reception is planed that anyone interested in learning more or participating in the 2017 offering is welcome to join.

Anyone interested in joining the CCCE, in contributing an article to the Fall 2015 Newsletter or organizing a future ConfChem shold contact Bob Belford, rebelford@ualr.edu.

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