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Survey Result: What did you like most?

22. What did you like most about the computer conference?

I could do it from home except for downloading large files - also
it was spread out over several weeks

Exchange of ideas generated by the papers provided food for

There were a number of things which I liked:
1) the informal atmosphere and the ability to access the
conference proceeding at my own pace; 2) the inducement to learn
more about the computer in my office AND the Mail system so that I
might be able to get the most out of the offerings of the
conference; 3) the threads of discussion which developed --
especially New Tools Vs. Old Methods, How students Learn, Why
Organic is so Hard? Cooperative/Collaborative Learning. These are
among the issue which I have been tossing around extensively since
I began teaching in the spring of 1990. My colleagues have
received my ideas with varying degrees of interest (ranging from
luke-warm and skeptical to high enthusiasm). I've found it
educational and gratifying to learn how others are dealing with
these concepts; their thoughts and their strategies for
implementation. I didn't learn much about teaching in graduate
school; this conference has been an important part of my
education. My perspective has been broadened and perhaps am
developing a new (more effective??) angle. I found that leaving
the safe shadow of the lurker and posting my own ideas to be a
valuable experience. Ideas were validated, constructive feedback
was exchanged and new contacts were made. In theory (and in
practice) this happens at "live" conferences as well. I think,
however, that the network adds flexibility to the discussion and
as Carolyn Judd pointed out, there is a certain anonymity to the
network which might help overcome the psychological barrier of
"going public".

local site - no travel

ease of attendance, large number of participants, participating in
new form


The interesting conversations that devoloped, and the wealth of
input from the participants.

It was accessible at my leisure.

This conference forced me to learn more about the use of the
email system. I sat in the background, read all the communications
even though I havent read all the papers yet, and printed out
copies of almost everything that has been transmitted or that I
have transferred. I've learned a lot by making a lot of mistakes.
For example, it has taken me almost three hours to complete this
evaluation form with this very unfriendly editor system we have on
our sun systems. I have transferred most DOS graphical files even
though I don't know what to do with them yet. I still have to do
the graphical files for the Mac. This will give me a lot of
material to work with over the next academic year. I have never
been to a meeting or workshop which has given me this much of an
education and so long to think about it. It is self-paced so that
I can complete it as I get time from other th ings I must do. I am
indeed grateful to the both of you for your effort in putting this
program together. I left graduate school 32 years ago this
November. This is a breath of fresh air .

The format allows many questions and much discussion, combined
with time for analysis and reflection and then, further
discussion, before the topic is changed.

I began the conference enthusiastically and read several of the
papers. I didn't participate in any discussions but kept up with
them daily by reading all messages that came through. I picked up
some good information and communicated by private e-mail with a
few of the participants. In this way, the conference was
invaluable. I now have e-mail addresses of a wide variety of
people that I can call on with questions, etc.

Availability of full transcript

The chance to participate in discussions of the papers, this
oppurtunity is not available at regular conferences.

The discussions made me think more about how I should update my
teaching methods, and made me more aware of the philosophy of

I enjoyed being able to access the discussion at my convinence.
Even though I did not contribute to the discussion, I found the
"give and take" between other participants to be enlightening.


I could participate at times convenient to me and not miss
anything. I got to be a part of every discussion. Also I got the
email addresses of some very knowledgeable colleagues.

I thought the papers that I read were good and the discussions
were excellent. It removed some of the isolation of the small
college atmosphere. ftp for retrieval of papers was a good idea
(vs direct mail)

It is very interesting to hear what is going on at other schools,
the triumphs and the pitfalls. It is convenient to be able to
"listen" in on one's own time schedule. There was a fairly wide
range of topics that did a good job of covering ideas that many of
us are trying out at our own schools, so that in my case, I found
something useful and interesting in all the papers.

Being able to interact with academic scientists with similar
interests. I can't make the trip Outside very frequently.

no problem with missing someone's comment. Know who made which

The chance to touch base with others in the field, at the times of
the day when it was most convenient for me. This ChemConference
is going to long remain one of my favorite conventions, for the
accessibility (both financial and geographic), for the ideas, for
the inspiration, for the great papers, and for the leaders. The
leadership provided by both Tom and Donald literally made this all
possible. Your encouragement and patience were critical to the
making of the conference.

I was able to use it as a spring board. I learned a hell of a lot
about e)mail, anonymous FTP, and graphics. I enjoyed looking into
the thoughts and problems facing modern acidemia.

E-mail puts everyone on equal footing: I can ask questions or
state opinions with- out fear that they will be ignored because of
my relative inexperience. (although I only asked one set of
questions and I MAY have written one opinion, but I dont recall)

interactions with others

1. That I could participate when it was convenient for me (during
office hours or at night at home). 2. That I could fetch the
papers by ftp (and can do it even now, if I want to read those
papers I have not yet read. 3. It was (is) easy to participate the
written discussion.

I could come and go as I pleased. I could skip boring discussions
without impolite.


Being able to access the conference when I had free time.

It certainly provided a great deal of insight into where we're
going with the use of computers in chemical education. It was
first conference using e-mail and I liked the free-wheeling
aspects of the discussions. I was happy to see that the
conference content will be available at an ftp site. I used this
conference to hone my e-mail skills.

The questionaire is not long enough for me to tell you all the
things I liked, but I will try. 1. Believe it or not, I felt that
I had more interaction with the conference participants, and that
those interactions were more productive than in the usual meeting.
No sooner did I ask a question than ZAP... an answer usually
appeared on my screen. People were very generous about taking time
to respond to questions. 2. Anyone who participated in discussion
was automatically identified by name and address. Discussion
could be continued later on a one-to-one basis very conveniently.
3. Backup materials were available for reading and reflection. 4.
A permanent record of all papers and discussion was automatically
created, making further reading and reflection possible. 5. There
was no feeling of being rushed. Essentially unlimited time was
available for discussion. 6. Did I mention that it didn't cost
anything? Perhaps the best things in life really are free. 7. Even
though it consumed more time than I expected, it was consumed by
productive activity. 8. It was possible to attend to other things
at the same time, since the conference activities could be
flexibly scheduled.

Being able to be involved in a discussion or at least listen in on
a running discussion of the use of computers in chemical
education, where I had time to consider what was being said.

The wide range of experiences and responses with many people
dealing with the same or similar problems to those we have.

Paricipants have ample time to read and think about the papers and
ask questions and engage in discussion. Authors have more time to
respond to questions. There is more discussion.

extent of discussion vs live I would not take the time to attend a
chem ed conference. This allowed me to participate without making
large committment of time and money.

I [was] very pleased with the ftp site access, especially using
FETCH. Thanks for having it so well organized.

I liked the ability to exchange ideas on more than a superficial
level and with out the constraints of a five minute question
period. The discussions also helped me to formulate and clarify my
on positions on a variety of topics.

That is was ongoing over a period and could be digested at my own
pace. I also liked the fact that most of the comments were well
thought out (one of the advantages of having to put the words on

I found this general experience to be very satisfying. I often
found that my questions or comments were already being made by
someone else, so I did not contribute much but I did learn much.
The same is true for many at regular meetings -- there are always
far more people in the room than questions asked, and most are
learning. I think that conferences such as this will always have a
number of "lurkers" who will learn by "listening" (reading), and
that is good.

I like the focus that the papers brought to the discussion. I also
participate in the more general and free alowing chemed-l
discussion. I think that there is a place for both types of
discussion and I look forward to more conferences of this type as
well as continued general discussion. The usual conference where
you go an focus intensely on a topic will also have a place. It is
useful to go off where there are no interruptions, and I don't
believe that computer conferences will ever replace those. I
really think that we have added a new format that will have its
own place.

The ability to attend without using non-existent travel funds.
World wide contact.

The amount of learning which can be obtained in a short period of

First time I have seen one. A good idea.

Overall, the Conference was excellent, and I believe that that
the next one will be even better because this type of conference
serves wonderfully to bring people of common interests together to
deal with common problems and aspirations. It was interesting to
me that there were so few responses from the major research
universities, despite the fact that they would presumably have
generally had network access for the longest time. And it was
very heartwarming (if I could be permitted to indulge myself) to
see how many teachers really do care about doing the best thing
for both chemistry and their students.

The idea of storing the ChemConf documents at your ftp site is
also excellent, because there are several papers to which I hope
to read carefully (on the basis of the ideas that they brought out
in the discussion).

I have been one of those silent observers who has read every
single letter (but, sadly, none of the papers, yet) with great
interest and enthusiasm, but without contributing. ... But it has
been sheer joy to gain insights into the ideas, plans,
achievements, uncertainties and enthusiasm of all those who did

Among the best discussions were those on how students learn and on
how teachers learn (or don't learn) to teach new things. I
suspect that there is more wisdom among chemists about teaching
than their is in some of the University units which have been set
up to promote good teaching. The exchange of ideas in this
conference was very useful to me because those ideas were in much
the same context as that in which I work.

I liked the time available for thinking and responding, and
reading other people's considered comments. I also liked the fact
that in some cases, the programs that were actually used were
available to us. That really makes this kind of conference

Being able to "attend" a conference without actually going
somewhere and at no cost.

It can be a truly worldwide conference, with no need for
expenditure of travel expense or travel time -- at least for those
who are near computers and modems. Moreover, the electronic
conference allows an extend discussion of the more interesting
topics, and in some depth. There is less a sense of a limit on
the duration discussion or on the detail of comments and

I not only enjoyed but benefitted from the discussions of the
various papers. (It was the discussion, rather than the papers,
that I read and responded to.) It seems to me that an electronic
conference serves as a complement to the traditional conference,
each with its own strengths. Since the strengths of the
electronic conference are not widelyl appreciated, this form of
communication must be promoted for the good of the profession
until it is as widely accepted and becomes as common as the
traditional form.

I enjoyed being able to access discussion on my schedule, the
constant grind of a "normal" conference gets old by the end of the
week. I also enjoyed being able to listen in to the authors and
others who are much more knowledgable. In a "normal" conference
the barriers between people are much higher. (This is similar to
the arguments for using e-mail in teaching)

This has been an extremely rich learning experinece for me.

The ability to "listen" to so many relevant comments during the

The range of the discussions.

The ability to participate in an international conference when
there is little or no chance (regretfully) to visit such a
conference, especially when it is abroad. Also I find it very
interesting that a medium that I like (email, of course) is put to
such good use.

extent of discussion vs live conf. where you may do well to have
one question & seldom get the audience arguing

I was able to learn important information at my own pace -- when I
had the time

Gave me an insight into the issues concerning the use of computers
in the academic world. I was also excited about the ability of
being able to communicate with others all over the world. I have
been in the health and safety field for 20 years and the issues
facing us today are truly global. With the changes in Europe and
Russia the need to communicate on the health and safety issues
will become increasingly important. The Industrial Hygiene
Conference which is held each year is attended by individuals from
all over the world and this type of conference has some very real
applications. I also liked the fact that you can spent time at
home and after work reading the papers and even " attending" the

Being able to participate after hours, on my own schedule.

The great differences in papers/ideas/contibutions/discussion etc.

Chance to hear many different points of view about use of
computers in educati Stimulating and thought provoking discussion
on many related issues and threads. I thoroughly enjoyed being an
"observer" and learned a great deal.

I think this is a great way to reach the faculty that are more
involved in i or are located at smaller schools that don't have
the resources to provide travel.

I liked the availabilty of papers in e-format by ftp/gopher, and
the ability to engage in discussion in the asynchronous fashion
allowed by email.

The ability to leisurely participate in a conference without the
investments which are usually required.

Specificity of questions and responses, as well as lack of
inhibition to ask questions

the frank discussion and exchange of ideas. At a non-electronic
conference you don't get as much *public* interchange (some
private conversations might bring about additional understanding
of ideas).

discussion of 9-12 : nuts and bolts of administration

The conference was a tremendous benefit. It revealed strengths and
weaknesses of computer applications and allowed a quick appraisal of
where important opportunities lay ahead.

I liked best about the conference: hearing what people are doing in the
classroom to enhance the learning experience; getting new ideas for my
own teaching; communicating with people who are designing software
programs and simulations...I have come away with this conference with
twenty new ideas to try this year.

convenient access to many different viewpoints

The GIF pictures and the software worked great.