Significant omission from my top 10 #chemed post!

0. Text messages to explore students’ study habits (Ye, Oueini, Dickerson, and Lewis, CERP) I was excited to see Scott Lewis speak at the Conference That Shall Not Be Named during the summer as I really love his work. This paper outlines an interesting way to find out about student study habits, using text-message prompts. Students received periodic text messages asking them if they have studied in the past 48 hours. The method is ingenious. Results are discussed in terms of cluster analysis (didn’t study as much, used textbook/practiced problems, and online homework/reviewed notes). There is lots of good stuff here for those interested…

My ten favourite #chemed articles of 2015

This post is a sure-fire way to lose friends… but I’m going to pick 10 papers that were published this year that I found interesting and/or useful. This is not to say they are ten of the best; everyone will have their own 10 “best” based on their own contexts. Caveats done, here are 10 papers on chemistry education research that stood out for me this year: 0. Text messages to explore students’ study habits (Ye, Oueini, Dickerson, and Lewis, CERP) I was excited to see Scott Lewis speak at the Conference That Shall Not Be Named during the summer as I really love…

This week I’m reading… Changing STEM education

Summer is a great time for Good Intentions and Forward Planning… with that in mind I’ve been reading about what way we teach chemistry, how we know it’s not the best approach, and what might be done to change it. Is changing the curriculum enough? Bodner (1992) opens his discussion on reform in chemistry education writes that “recent concern”, way back in 1992, is not unique. He states that there are repeated cycles of concern about science education over the 20th century, followed by long periods of complacency. Scientists and educators usually respond in three ways: restructure the curriculum, attract…

Mobile phones for analysis in school and undergrad laboratories

 “Although the majority of scientific workers utilize photography for illustrative purposes, a survey of the literature shows that only a limited number fully appreciate its usefulness as a means for recording data.” So wrote GE Matthew and JI Crabtree in a 1927 article of Journal of Chemical Education.[1] Photography has come on since then, when they cautioned readers on the properties and limitations of photographic emulsion for quantitative purposes. Now it is much simpler, and there are many applications of photography using a mobile phone camera and a suitable app. I’ve summarised five of these below. 1. Colorimetric Analysis[2] This…

If scientists designed the history curriculum…

We’ve been here before. Such was the fever to promote science at the expense of everything else in the mid nineteenth century that Thomas Wyse told an audience at the Waterford Literary and Scientific Society in 1833 to ‘banish all modem politics and controversial theology from their arenas’ and look to ‘Priestley, Brougham, and Watt as the true Promethei of our present race – the true architects of our civilisation’. So it is again, with Ruairí Quinn taking up Wyse’s role, plotting to squeeze together history and geography at school to make room for science. To paraphrase Gerard Collins begging Albert on national TV: please Ruairí, for…

Paper Conservation Chemistry in our Curriculum

My latest article in Education in Chemistry is on paper conservation. The article was inspired by hearing and reading about the great conservation work that goes on at the National Library of Ireland. I would also like to initiate a conversation with anyone interested in developing/collating material for including paper chemistry and conservation in the curriculum. The article also made the cover – click on the image to go to it. A PDF version of how it appears in the magazine is at the end of the page linked.  

The Application of Technology to Enhance Chemistry Education

Call for Papers Contributions are invited for a themed, peer-reviewed issue of CERP on The Application of Technology to Enhance Chemistry Education which is scheduled for publication Autumn 2013. Guest Editors: Michael K Seery and Claire McDonnell. Topics for contribution may include but are not limited to:  Blended learning to support ‘traditional’ instruction (e.g. online resources, wikis, blogs, e-portfolios) In-class technology (e.g. clickers, iPads or equivalent) Online learning (e.g. distance learning initiatives, online collaborative learning, active and interactive eLearning, computer simulations of practical work, modelling software for online learning) Cognitive considerations for online learning (e.g. designing online resources) E-assessment (e.g….

Variety in Chemistry Education Meeting, 2012

Variety in Chemistry Education is one of my favourite conferences which I attend annually (2010 and 2011 reports here). This year’s meeting was held along with the Physics Higher Education Conference, providing the catchy Twitter hashtag #vicephec. The meeting was opened with a keynote by Prof Martyn Poliakoff, inorganic chemist from Nottingham, but better known to 102,403 YouTube subscribers as the star of the Periodic Table of Videos series, which have been viewed over 25,243,185 times. Prof Poliakoff received the 2011 RSC Nyholm Prize—awarded every other year for Education. He spoke about the development of the videos, working with video…