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Logo for the American Chemical SocietyEach Spring the CCCE hosts online discussions of recent work of relevance to the use of computers in chemical education. The authors of each paper are available to discuss their work with the community on the days assigned to their papers, and both the papers and discussion are archived on our site. You do not need to be a member of ACS, CHED or the CCCE to participate in these discussion, but need to set up a free account by contacting the site moderator, Bob Belford at  

 Discussion Schedule

April 17-19     IONiC VIPEr: A Community of Inorganic Chemists Who Create, Share, Adapt, Comment On, and Give Back in Order to Improve Student Learning, Chip Nataro, Anne K. Bentley, Hilary J. Eppley, Elizabeth R. Jamieson, Adam R. Johnson, Barbara A. Reisner, Sheila R. Smith, Joanne L. Stewart, Lori A. Watson, Nancy S. B. Williams

April 20-22    Zika Virus and Drug Discovery: A Classroom-Based Bioinformatics Research Project and General Method for Repurposing Existing Drugs, Sandra Porter

April 24-28    Organic Chemistry Video Vignettes: Morphing of Assignments Over Three Years, Layne Morsch

May 1-3        Textsbooks and the SI Base Units. A Challenge for Authors and Editors, Peter Rusch

May 4-9       Come Join the Party!:  Recent Progress of the Community Based LibreTexts (neé ChemWiki) Project, Delmar Larsen, Ronald Rusay, Robert Belford, Dietmar Kennepohl, Dianne Bennett, Allison Soult, Brett McCollum, Samuel Keasler, Joshua Halpern,  Tim Soderberg, Kristie Kosti, William R. Stockwell, Kathryn Haas, Layne A. Morsch

May 10-12   Experimenting with Hypothesis, Robert Belford


Jason Telford

Newsletter Articles

Abstracts of Papers

Chip Nataro, Dept. of Chemistry, Lafayette College, Easton, PA

Anne K. Bentley, Dept. of Chemistry, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR

Hilary J. Eppley, Dept. of Chemistry, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN

Elizabeth R. Jamieson, Chemistry Dept., Smith College, Northampton, MA

Adam R. Johnson, Dept. of Chemistry, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA

Barbara A. Reisner, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

Sheila R. Smith, Dept. of Natural Sciences, University of Michigan, Dearborn, MI

Joanne L. Stewart, Dept. of Chemistry, Hope College, Holland, MI

Lori A. Watson, Dept. of Chemistry, Earlham College, Richmond, IN

Nancy S. B. Williams, Keck Science Dept., Claremont Colleges, Claremont, CA

The Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC) was created to provide an opportunity for inorganic chemists to share their teaching expertise and resources with other members of the community through VIPEr, the Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource. The community also provides professional development opportunities for its participants through workshops and national meeting symposia. As the community grows, the aspirational goal of improving teaching and learning in inorganic chemistry remains at the forefront.

Sandra Porter, Austin Community College and Digital World Biology LLC, Seattle, WA

The most engaging student research projects combine relevant topics with the opportunity to develop and practice skills that can be applied outside of class. Cases of emerging viruses and outbreaks of infectious agents capture student attention.  The Zika virus outbreak has been devastating to young families in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Pictures of affected babies with unusually small heads and severe birth defects have alarmed people throughout the western hemisphere.  Although few cases of Zika virus infection have been reported in the United States, the mosquito that carries Zika virus, Aedes aegypti, is endemic in the Southern U.S., and could transmit Zika virus in states like Florida, and Texas.  In this project, students use the bioinformatics and molecular modeling skills they’re learning in class to identify drugs that might be able to treat people infected by Zika virus.

Layne Morsch, University of Illinois, Springfield

When we, as faculty, decide to incorporate a new learning activity or assignment into our courses, we should be prepared to engage in an iterative process of modifications. Ideally, each iteration brings us closer to a design that will have the greatest impact on student learning, or at least helps us identify design elements that should be avoided. In this paper, I describe a series of modifications extending over a three-year timeframe, from idea generation to refined implementation as I explored implementation of student authored video vignettes in undergraduate second-year organic chemistry courses. 

Peter F. Rusch

The vast number of chemistry textbooks and their many revisions provide opportunity for advancing the fundamentals of chemistry.  Among those fundamentals are the SI (Système International) Base Units for: time; length; mass; thermodynamic temperature; electrical current; intensity of light; and amount of substance.  All of these are significant in the practice of chemistry.

Presently, an international effort is underway to redefine each of the SI Base Units.  Led by the International Committee on Weights and measures (CIPM), there is a growing consensus on the new definitions with the prospect of their formal adoption by the next General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) in 2018. Originally, the SI Base units were based on physical observations of terrestrial phenomenon to which anybody could relate.  The revised definitions are all based on physical constants considered to be invariants of nature.

How these new definitions will be represented in chemistry textbooks is an open question with few authors and editors aware of the forthcoming changes.

Delmar S. Larsen, University of California, Davis 

Ronald Rusay, Diablo Valley College

Robert Belford, University of Arkansas, Little Rock

Dietmar Kennepohl, Athabasca University

Dianne Bennett, Sacramento City College

Allison Soult, University of Kentucky

Brett McCollum, Mount Royal University

Samuel Keasler, Valley City State University

Joshua Halpern, Howard University 

Tim Soderberg, University of Minnesota, Morris

Kristie Kosti, University of California, Davis

William R. Stockwell, Howard University

Kathryn Haas, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame

Layne A. Morsch, University of Illinois, Springfield

The LibreTexts project is a multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access texts to improve postsecondary education at all levels of higher learning by developing an Open Access Resource environment. The project currently consists of 12 independently operating and interconnected libraries that are constantly being optimized by students, faculty, and outside experts to supplant conventional paper-based books. These free textbook alternatives are organized within a central environment that is both vertically (from advance to basic level) and horizontally (across different fields) integrated. The development approach is highly collaborative and grows via the efforts of a growing community, which has been particularly active in the recently years. We present this progress via 15 testimonials of Libretexts adopters and developers. The project is empowered by Mindtouch’s cloud-delivered web platform.

Robert E. Belford

During the Spring 2017 Cheminformatics OLCC I decided to try the (h.) social annotation service,  This was a true learn-to-swim by jumping in the water type of experience and this paper will briefly describe h., and how my use of it evolved as the class proceeded.  In fact, by the end of the semester, my students were aggregating at the bottom of each module of our eTextbook a folksonomy of annotated content from across the web that I could use to target and develop my in-class lesson preparation.

To give you an idea as to the power of h., I suggest you click this link,, which takes you across the web to a Journal of Cheminformatics Open Access article on the Blue Obelisk, and scrolls down to a section on ODOSOS (Open Data, Open Source, Open Standards). This annotation was of a "mock assignment" that I could share with anyone, including non-chemists, which included an embedded YouTube video by the late Jean-Claude Bradley on Cheminformatics and Open Notebook Science. 

This paper will start with an introduction to the Cheminformatics OLCC, with links to YouTubes for those who are interested in more information.  Then there is a quick introduction to the (h.) social annotation service, followed by a description of the use of this service by a cohort of the 2017 Cheminformatics OLCC students at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.  The two embedded YouTube videos in part 3 of this paper give a good overview of our experience with the use of in this class.