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Resources for Teaching Your Chemistry Class Online

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:

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.

Share Your Recent STEM Education Experiences with the NSF!

STEM Educators have a critical perspective on how STEM education has been impacted by COVID-19, and federal policymakers want to hear it. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a request for information (RFI) regarding the U.S. education system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and you can share your feedback by submitting comments until October 19th to make your voice heard!

Here are even more resources that may help you as you work to adapt your lessons and teaching tactics to work online:

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