You are here

Fall 2016 ConfChem: Select 2016 BCCE Presentations

10/30/16 to 11/22/16

Fall 2016 ConfChem: Select Presentations from CCCE Sponsored Symposia During the 2016 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education,

organizers: Jennifer Muzyka (Centre College), Robert E. Belford (University of Arkansas, Little Rock), Tanya Gupta (South Dakota State University)


One of the challenges associated with attending a BCCE is choosing which talks to attend, because there are often concurrent talks in different symposia in which participants are interested.  These conflicts between multiple interests are especially challenging for members of the CCCE who organize symposia and workshops.  Thus, the responsibility of presiding in talks of their own symposium precludes them from attending other symposia that interest them. This year, members of the CCCE will organize 4 different symposia during the BCCE and the organizers of each symposium will invite two authors to present papers related to the use of computers in chemical education in a follow-up online ConfChem Conference. This approach will not only allow participants who could not attend these talks to interact with authors, but also allow members of the broader chemical education community who could not attend the BCCE to benefit from these presentations. 

This ConfChem will be on the general topic of Computers in Chemical Education with papers being invited from the following symposia.

·   Social Networking in Chemical Education Research

·   Active Learning in Organic Chemistry

·   Web-based Resources for Chemical Education 


Conference Dates:




Sun 10/30 - Tues 11/1

Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh

Radical awakenings: A new teaching paradigm using social media

Thurs 11/3 - Sat 11/5

Joshua Ring

Specifications Grading in the Flipped Organic Classroom

Sun 11/6 - Tues 11/8

Emily Alden

Changing roles for changing times: Social media and the evolution of the supplemental instructor

Thurs 11/10 - Sat 11/12

Robert Bodily and Steve Wood

Tracking student use of web-based resources for chemical education

Sun 11/13 - Tues 11/15

Pam Auburn

Conscious assessment to support active learning

Thurs 11/17 - Sat 11/19

Ashleigh Prince

Putting your own personal twist on a flipped organic classroom and selling the idea to students

Sun 11/20 - Tues 11/22

Bob Belford

Twentieth Year of the OLCC

Conference Articles

Abstracts of Papers:

Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh.


This paper focuses on one instructor’s integration of social media into her classroom and her teaching life as both a communication tool, mainly between professor and student, and also a way to build community amongst the students. Multivariate statistical analyses were implemented to determine the relative success of the integration as compared to the baseline of an active learning model. Future directions include qualitative analyses and further quantitative analyses on questions raised by the initial findings.

Joshua Ring, Lenoir-Rhyne University


Specifications Grading, developed by Linda Nilson, is a system of course-long student assessment based on the division of learning objectives into clearly-defined skill tests or assignments. Each skill is evaluated at a mastery level, with opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes and then be re-evaluated for skill tests, or resubmit assignments.  In this paper, the author explores the background that led him to adopt Specs Grading in his Organic Chemistry course, and then details both the implementation thereof as well as student results and feedback.

Emily Alden


The supplemental instruction (SI) model has come a long way from being just peer-assisted study sessions to improve student retention and success. Students now have 24-7 access to handouts, professional tutoring, and group collaboration outlets; several of these services are offered via social media sites. How well these outlets are incorporated into the classroom is now a key component of what makes an SI session successful. With the advent of these innovations, the limits to what an SI can provide to his/her students are far less, including (but not limited to): video lectures, practice exams, and promotion of group collaboration among students. Through the use of platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Piapp, and Slack, the SI session can be held almost exclusively online and provide just as much if not more benefit to the students involved.

Robert Bodily and Steven Wood


We have developed an analytics system for use by general chemistry students that tracks video and quiz interaction data and reports it back to students in real-time. To this end, we have developed a learning analytics dashboard for students. When students access the dashboard, they can easily ascertain the gaps in their knowledge. Furthermore, they can click on a flagged concept to access video resources, practice questions, or web resources to remediate their lack of knowledge. We have tracked the use of our initial dashboard version by students in the first semester of a two-semester general chemistry sequence. We report on the student use of web resources in this course and provide recommendations for researchers and practitioners in chemistry education based on our results.

Pam Auburn


Effective assessment is a key component of student learning and motivation. It engages students in the learning process and pinpoints individual areas for improvement. Effective assessment also informs teaching. So how can we be sure that assessment is working for these ends and not against them? Assessment must be planned and built into instruction. In-class activities that target common misconceptions not only serve as formative assessment, they also stimulate peer interaction and build metacognitive skills. Assessment as, for and of learning together can support and improve both learning and teaching. This presentation will discuss the roles of both formative and cumulative assessment in learning and instruction. Tools for planning and aligning assessment according to instructional goals will be provided.

Ashleigh Prince


Do you want to incorporate active learning into your organic lectures, but don’t have the time or resources to start recording your own videos just yet?  If so, there are other alternatives!  While “flipping” any course involves a substantial increase in the workload of the faculty, it also requires that you absolutely sell the idea to your students.  While taking into account student feedback and interest, a traditional two semester organic course was gradually modified throughout the academic year to incorporate additional active learning techniques, such as videos, reading assignments, online quizzes, and classroom activities.  This presentation will focus on my experiences gradually implementing an active learning approach based on student feedback and ideas for getting students on board with this new approach.  In addition, a description of the techniques used will be discussed including several unique hands-on activities for the classroom.  Although results are preliminary, there has been a significant increase in student retention and peer-to-peer engagement, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Robert E. Belford, University of Arkansas Little Rock


2016 is the 20th anniversary of OLCCs (OnLine Chemistry Courses), which are run by the CHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education.  OLCCs predate MOOCs and are a form of DOCC (Distributed Online Collaborative Course) involving online guest lecturers and residential faculty from multiple institutions.  This presentation will go over the Cheminformatics OLCC that was offered at UNF, WVU, UALR and Centre College during the Fall of 2015, and introduce an upcoming OLCC that any school can participate in.  As such, this presentation will cover the past of OLCCs, present OLCCs, and visions of future OLCCs, which any school can participate in.