P539: ChemVisual Data: an open web platform to allow students discover chemical trends

Author: Xavier Prat-Resina, University of Minnesota Rochester, USA

Co-Author: Xavier Prat-Resina and Brandon Eklund, University of Minnesota Rochester, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 4:00 PM4:20 PM

Room: LTT 102

Related Symposium: S17

This talk presents a set of open web tools (http://chemdata.r.umn.edu) that target different pedagogical needs in the undergraduate chemistry curriculum. Higher-order thinking: This tool allows students to navigate, select and graphically represent data such as boiling and melting points, enthalpies of combustion, heat capacities for hundreds of molecules. By doing so, students can identify by themselves correlations between magnitudes, laws and outliers. One of the merits of this tool is that it may help students recognize situations when conflicting influences play a role (e.g. molecular weight, shape and dipole effect on boiling point). Identify conflicting influences empowers students with analytical skills that will lead them to higher-order thinking and self-regulated learning. ChemVisual Data has been used in an undergraduate general chemistry course and it has successfully allowed students identify trends and exceptions that were not previously known by them. Game-like activities: The same database of chemical properties used for higher-order thinking can be easily repurposed to create simple game-like activities where students engage in basic topics of the chemistry curriculum that require mastery. Our database includes typical mistakes or misconceptions. A simple game-like activity can be thought as the perfect active learning class assignment because it creates clear goals, gives instant feedback and, if done well, is engaging and enhances retention. In this talk we will cover some examples of game-like activities for nomenclature, identifying acid/base properties or remembering structure and properties of amino acids.