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CHEMISTRY

Using Database Software for "Do-It-Yourself" Online Homework Assignments
by Thomas Holme, UW-Milwaukee

The database software Holme uses allows him to use an ordinary PC or Mac as a web server to handle functions such as course registration, homework, scoring, and other course bookkeeping tasks. This, he feels, allows the instructor to exercise more control over the electronic aspects of the course, as opposed to large web course software systems such as Blackboard and WebCT. (Dec. 2002)

Designing Chemistry Applications for the Palm Pilot
by Professor Jeffrey Rosenthal
Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Professor Rosenthal recounts his experiences incorporating the Palm IIIx into a chemical instrumentation laboratory. While the students were excited to try working with the Palms, not all of them found inputting data using the "Graffiti" system an easy task, and some of the software available for the Palm seemed have limited in its capabilities. Rosenthal found that one way of maximizing the device's usefulness was by writing his own software program for it. Read about Professor Rosenthal's initial semester working with PDAs in the classroom and his plans for future use. (May 2001)

Reinventing the Basics: Madison Chemistry Department Receives Pew Grant for Course Redesign
by Jennifer Smith, TTT Editor

In 1999, UW-Madison's chemistry department received a $200,000 grant from the Pew Grant Program in Course Redesign, an undertaking of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Grants are designed to promote improved student learning and reduce course costs through the use of technology. Find out how the Madison campus plans to redesign its high-enrollment general chemistry sequence.

On-Line Publishing for Undergraduates in Biophysical Chemistry
Professor Scott Hartsel
Department of Chemistry, UW-Eau Claire

Professor Hartsel devised a project for junior and senior students enrolled in his Biophysical Chemistry class.  Students submitted electronic papers with interactive illustrations in WWW format and used online templates.  Individually, each student benefits from these cyber-publications as part of a resume or graduate school application.  As a collective, the papers gain international access due to a link with a database at the University of Minnesota.

Microsoft Excel in General Chemistry
John Bak, Lecturer
Department of Chemistry, UW-Whitewater

ABSTRACT (with no feature article)
Professor Bak uses Microsoft Excel in General Chemistry.  Most of his laboratory exercises have Excel worksheets that students complete when doing their calculations, and the worksheet then tells the students if the answers are right or wrong. This encourages the students to do the calculations over until the answers are right. Check out the General Chemistry Web pages about Bak, along with Lance Urven, a biology professor at UW-Whitewater, regarding adaptation of a required core course "Science and Technology in Society" to distance education. Check out the "Science and Technology in Society" Web pages at http://www.uww.edu/lettsc/core/sts/main.htm    You can reach John Bak at: bakj@uwwvax.uww.edu

Audiographics in Distance Learning
Professor Lloyd Goding
Department of Chemistry, UW Centers

BRIEF DESCRIPTION (no abstract or feature article)
Dr. Goding teaches a distance learning organic chemistry for the UW Centers using the audiographics system supported by Instructional Communications Systems of UW Extension. He has taught this course for the past two years. You can reach Dr. Goding at: lgoding@uwc.edu

First Class Software and Other Innovations in Chemistry
Professor James Hamilton
Department of Chemistry, UW-Platteville

ABSTRACT  (with no feature article)
As a supplement to time in class and lab, Dr. Hamilton uses First Class conferencing and email to communicate information to his students in general and physical chemistry. Assignments, pre-labs and answers are posted either in Word 6.0 format or on the web as GIFs for students to download. Hamilton also uses a Sharp LCD Projector system in class to project and discuss figures from the textbook, which is on CD-ROM. Hamilton also uses a computerized quizzing and learning system called ChemSkil Builder in his classes. In both introductory and upper level chemistry classes, students use computerized data acquisition and analysis extensively. Dr. Hamilton's home page is located at http://www.ems.uwplatt.edu/sci/chem/fac/hamilton/    You can reach Dr. Hamilton at hamiltonj@uwplatt.edu

Learning to Use Chemistry Lab Equipment via Computers
G. Earl Peace, Jr., Faculty Associate
Department of Chemistry, UW-Madison

ABSTRACT (no feature article)
As Associate Director of a curricular reform project, "Establishing New Traditions: Revitalizing the Curriculum," funded by the National Science Foundation and centered at UW-Madison, Dr. Peace has helped develop web-based software to enhance student learning in the laboratory. The software program attempts to teach students how to use all of the commonly used laboratory equipment before they come to lab. The program includes video clips showing how to use the equipment, audio instructions, and quiz questions so students can make sure they understand the use of the equipment.  You can reach Dr. Peace at gpeacejr@facstaff.wisc.edu

The Teaching with Technology Today project consists of a web-based NEWSLETTER and WISLRNTEC, a companion listserv where members discuss technology, pedagogy, and student learning. TTT was instigated by the UW Learning Technology Development Council; it receives significant support from UW-Extension's Division of Continuing Education.