P897: Level and content challenges for non-science major chemistry courses

Author: Conrad Trumbore, University of Delaware, USA

Co-Author: Becky Kinney and Kyle Kinney, University of Delaware, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 3:05 PM3:25 PM

Room: MAK A1117

Related Symposium: S65

There are many problems with getting the right level of sophistication in course content in the non-science majors chemistry course. The backgrounds of both students and teaching faculty differ greatly. No single printed text can completely satisfy both these clientele. We have created an introductory multimedia web chemistry text with a broad range of levels and course content that we believe solves this dilemma. The first computer screen encountered by the student provides the lowest level introductory material with seamlessly integrated basic-level animations with “just-in-time” interactive assessment tools. This text has many web links that provide detailed definitions as well as second level content, where there are further links to even higher level material for highly motivated students and for students with strong backgrounds. This text, entitled Contemporary Chemistry, covers a variety of topics of great interest to students such as how chemistry relates to climate change, nanotechnology, energy problems, nutrition, the genomics revolution, drugs and the brain, etc. Because of its web delivery, the text can be delivered in two modes: “chemistry first,” or “need-to-know.”

P535: Challenges in the creation of an introductory chemistry e-text for non-science majors

Author: Conrad Trumbore, University of Delaware, USA

Co-Author: Becky and Kyle Kinney, University of Delaware, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 2:25 PM2:45 PM

Room: LTT 102

Related Symposium: S17

There is a crisis in textbook publishing. Students are rebelling by not buying expensive new texts. At the same time, electronic books are offering exciting new opportunities for enrichment, interactivity, and assessment with immediate feedback. However, there are also potential disadvantages. What are the challenges and opportunities that face the authors, publishers and users of such an e-book in chemistry for non-science majors? What should be the content for such an e-book? Can e-books meet both student and faculty needs in such a course? For example, can e-books solve the challenges of the “atoms-first” vs. “need-to-know” debate? Do interactive animations help or hinder? How can a student take full advantage of interactive animations? Can the problem of Flash vs. HTML5 animations be solved? Should animations be separate from the text? If not, what are best ways to seamlessly integrate assessments into animations and integrate these animations into the text? How can the assessments be handled most effectively? Are the publishing world, chemistry instructors, and non-science majors ready for e-books? What is the market for e-books for non-science majors? What are the problems encountered with publishing an e-book? The author’s answers to these questions are based on first hand and long-term experience in creating such an e-book. The current status of our own introductory chemistry e-book containing many interactive animations will be discussed in the light of answers to these more general questions.