Essays

Chemistry Education Reform in the 1990s
Conrad Stanitski, University of Central Arkansas
Originally submitted for PKAL's 10th Anniversary Celebration in 1999, this brief review documents how chemistry evolved in the 1990's.

The Kinetics of Innovation in Chemistry Education: An Investigation of Catalysis and Inhibition
A. Truman Schwartz, Macalester College
An update to Dr. Stanitski's history that examines more recent efforts in chemistry education reform.

What Works in General Chemistry: Increased Laboratory Experience
Brock Spencer, Beloit College
A new course at Beloit College trades lectures and examinations for more time in the laboratory and features students and faculty working together to discover important chemical concepts, and projects that tie chemistry to everyday life.

ChemConnections – A Guide To Teaching With Modules
Joanne L. Stewart & Valorie L. Wilkerson, Hope College
In 1995, NSF's Systematic Changes in Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum Initiative sought to change chemistry curricula to encourage the integration of chemistry with related disciplines, enhance learning and appreciation of science, and affect all levels of undergraduate instruction. One program funded under the project was ChemConnections, A Guide to Teaching with Modules.

Freshman Chemistry, With Lots of Positive Incentives: A University of Detroit Mercy Model
Mark Benvenuto, University of Detroit Mercy
The University of Detroit Mercy offers a model of how instructors can create an active learning environment in the traditional lecture setting and connect the lecture with the laboratory and with real life experiences and phenomena.

Computational Chemistry as a Teaching Tool in a Physical Chemistry Course
Jonathan E. Stevens, University of Detroit Mercy
Well-chosen problems can enhance the learning experience of students, no matter the discipline or topic. The difficulty lies in framing proper problems and follow-up questions and understanding how assigning these problems may teach elements of specific topic (physical chemistry) as well as reinforce lessons in common topics in general and organic chemistry.

Development of Computer-Based Activities for Peer-Led Team Learning in University-Level General Chemistry
John A. Goodwin, Coastal Carolina University
This hybrid of print and computer-based study materials have been developed as supplements to the “Peer-Led Team Learning General Chemistry” workbook (Gosser, Strozak, Cracolice – Prentice Hall, 2000) at Coastal Carolina Univesity for their General Chemistry course.

Analytical Chemistry Laboratory: Role-Playing as a Pedagogical Approach
Mary M. Walczak, St. Olaf College
A private, liberal-arts college introduces role-playing into its chemistry labs in the belief that assuming a role and identifying with the real-world issues gives students a different sort of ownership over their work. This ownership can provide for better knowledge transfer and ultimately - better learning.

A Multilateral Approach to Technology: Mediated Distance Education
William E. Moore, Southern University
A successful project that transforms the traditional practice of distance education from one in which one university provides technology-driven learning opportunities for a collection of learners to a format in which several universities are both the providers and beneficiaries of a distance education initiative.

A Novel Strategy for Assessing the Effects of Curriculum Reform on Student Competence
John C. Wright, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Susan B. Millar, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Paul H. Williams, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bruce E. Wampold, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Credible assessment is crucial to the success of any curricular reform efforts whose goals are to improve student learning and skill development. A new strategy designed to determine whether changes in student learning and skill development are measurable.

Enhancing the Chemistry Curriculum with FT-NMR Spectroscopy
Andrew S. Koch, St. Mary's College
A successful proposal to fund the purchase of a high-field Fourier-transform nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (FT-NMR) transforms the entire chemistry curriculum at St. Mary's College.

Building Programs and Spaces at Hendrix College: ATEC, an Integrated Junior Level Laboratory
Liz U. Gron, Hendrix College
Anyone familiar with the process of facilities design understands the question, "What to put where?" What they may not be realizing is that curriculum and facilities are inherently tied. And so, perhaps the more appropriate question for undergraduate science facilities is "What should students learn where?"

Designing Labs from Curriculum
M. Warfield Teague, Hendrix College
A companion to the article above, Hendrix College designs their physical lab spaces in the context of their redesigned curriculum.

What Do We Want from Your Graduates?
James Landis, Parker Amchen, a division of Henkel of America
A research chemist discusses what knowledge, skills, and qualities the chemical industry hopes to see in chemistry majors as enter the workforce. An excellent insight into what is expected of the 21st century workforce.

Undergraduate Professional Education in Chemistry: Guidelines and Evaluation Procedures
Committee on Professional Training, American Chemical Society
The ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) was established with the primary objective to facilitate the maintenance and improvement of the quality of chemical education. One of the Committee's most important activities is the development and administration of guidelines that define high quality undergraduate chemistry programs.