Educators are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis in more ways than one. Not only do they need to be concerned about their health, but they have to find new ways to engage their students, as schools move online for the duration of the pandemic. The American Chemical Society has a long history of supporting chemical education, including through the Journal of Chemical Education, which offers teachers peer-reviewed articles on chemical content, activities, laboratory experiments, instructional methods, and pedagogies.
To help chemistry educators in this challenging time, the journal, the ACS Division of Chemical Education, and ACS Publications have published a virtual issue titled “Resources for Teaching Your Chemistry Class Online: A Free to Read Collection from the American Chemical Society & the ACS Division of Chemical Education.” This free-to-read issue will help chemistry educators make the most of the transition to teaching and learning remotely.
Read on to learn about the intent behind this issue, as well as find additional online education resources.
Overview by Journal of Chemical Education Editor-in-Chief Thomas A. Holme
In the summer of 2018, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the International Conference on Chemical Education (ICCE) in Sydney, Australia. There were many memorable talks and workshops, but among the most eye-opening was a keynote presentation by Professor Marietjie Potgieter describing the responses made at the University of Pretoria in South Africa when student strikes led to a disruption of the class schedule. Their campus went from normal, face-to-face instruction to all on-line instruction essentially overnight.
Helpfully, this talk has been captured in a volume with papers on several talks that were presented at ICCE1. All of us in the audience seemed to be turning to each other saying, “I can’t imagine having to do that.” Now, about 20 months later, most of that audience is, in fact, having to do precisely the same thing.
Over the past several years, articles related to distance learning of chemistry and the teaching and learning of chemistry on-line have occurred occasionally in the Journal of Chemical Education. This virtual issue has collected many of these articles, along with a few additional resources, to provide guidance and perhaps inspiration to chemistry instructors who are now finding themselves deep into an instructional format that is new, probably less-than-ideal, and presenting new challenges on a regular basis.
Our hope is that these articles will be helpful as the amazing ingenuity of chemistry teachers around the world takes over and gets us and our students to the other side of this crisis.
Additional Online Education and Engagement Resources from C&EN
In keeping with their commitment to providing readers with the chemistry news that matters most, C&EN is reporting on school closures and how teachers and students are adapting to online education. The magazine’s team is also engaging students, postdocs, faculty, and other chemical professionals who are in their homes instead of their labs with C&EN virtual tweetups and Twitter chats.
Visit @cenmag on Twitter and read these articles to learn more:
- The flip side of flipped classrooms
- Tips for teaching in the time of coronavirus
- Chemistry departments deal with coronavirus closures
- Chemists are finding their place on TikTok
More Tips for Teaching and Learning Remotely from the ACS Education Team
ACS and its members are using social media to share resources, have asynchronous communications, and cross-link communities. This JCE virtual issue features one of those communities, Chemical Education Xchange, which is offering access to videos and software, along with a blog sharing resources. Organic Education Resources (OrganicERs), an independent group focused on the dissemination of evidence-based materials for active learning pedagogies in organic chemistry, is also featured in this JCE virtual issue and has compiled additional resources to support the transition to learning remotely.
Here are even more resources that may help you as you work to adapt your lessons and teaching tactics to work online:
- Another community, the Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC), shares teaching resources and offers real-time support via its Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource (VIPEr).
- K–12 teachers are participating in AACT webinars.
- ACS Connects, a virtual mentoring and engagement platform for current and former ACS Scholars, is being piloted.
- Check out the online interactives for the ACS textbook for non-science majors Chemistry in Context (available in e-book), Energy Foundations for High School Chemistry, and ACS Reactions
- Selected ChemMatters articles (in English and Spanish), high school lesson plans associated with ChemMatters and ACS National Historic Landmarks, and the ACS high school chemistry textbook Chemistry in the Community are all available online.
- Stay in the know with the online magazines Graduate and Postdoctoral Chemist and inChemistry, as well as the ACS ChemClub
- Celebrating Chemistry offers digital activities for Grades 4-6 in English and Spanish.
- Get the Adventures in Chemistry, Inquiry in Action, and Middle School Chemistry, free digital resources.
- ACS Committee on Professional Training Statement on the Use of Virtual Instruction (CPT)
- ACS High School Resources
- ACS Elementary & Middle School Resources
- Calling all graduate and undergraduate students: Submit a 1-minute video overview of your research to Journal of Organic Chemistry and Organic Letters’ #OrgLettFlashTalk campaign by May 15th for a chance to win a surprise prize! To participate, simply upload a 1-minute video to Twitter using the hashtag #OrgLettFlashTalk and mentioning @JOC_OL @ACSPublications. Submit your video.
- Crystal Growth & Design launched “A Day in the Life of a Locked-Down Crystal Engineer” campaign on May 1st. The month-long campaign features stories of how aspiring and experienced crystal engineers are continuing to work and learn while social distancing. Stories feature everything from at-home experiments to light-hearted stories about the often funny complexities of working at home. Students may enjoy browsing through stories or participating themselves by posting their stories on Twitter using the #StayHomeDesignCrystals and mentioning @CGD_ACS. View the feed now for some inspiration. When the campaign concludes on May 31st, the five participants whose posts received the most likes will receive a surprise prize! To be considered, don’t forget to follow @CGD_ACS.
- JCE Call For Papers: Special Issue on Insights Gained While Teaching Chemistry in the Time of COVID-19
- ACS Exams Institute offers ‘nonsecure’ versions of its general and organic chemistry exams
- Twitter Chat Series: Ask an ACS Editor about #CHEMED in the Time of COVID-19 The Journal of Chemical Education will be hosting a Twitter Chat with the Editor in Chief, Thomas Holme on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 12 P.M. EDT. Join the conversation at @ACSDivCHED Tag your questions about Chemical Education in the time of COVID-19 with #AskACSEditors #CHEMED Here is your opportunity to share your insights, and ask questions with the Editor in Chief about the Journal of Chemical Education upcoming Special Issue. Follow us on Twitter @ACSDivCHED