1 Mar 2015

Building skills across the chemistry curriculum

Submitted by Joanne Stewart, Hope College
One of the things that I like about my department is that we seem to be able to balance working very independently with just enough togetherness (but not too much) when it counts. For example, while each lab course we teach has different writing requirements, the writing expectations are coordinated and build intentionally from gen chem to organic to more advanced courses.

We have also applied this developmental approach to computational chemistry. General chemistry students predict structures with VSEPR and then explore the shapes and physical properties of these molecules computationally.

19 Feb 2015

Come on, Spring Break!

Submitted by Sheila Smith, University of Michigan- Dearborn

Here we are in the murky middle of the semester when all I can think about is a week off from teaching.  Friday can’t come too soon, and then I have a week that is mine…A week to prep for ACS...Denver is coming fast.  A week to catch up on grading and writing and gasp!... reading the piles of primary literature articles that I have stacked on my desk for when I have time.  Time to put some of the good stuff that I’ve done this semester on VIPEr maybe?  Time to plan for the summer workshop on Catalysis in Seattle?

9 Feb 2015

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words. . .

Submitted by Elizabeth Jamieson, Smith College

One of the things that we are hoping to do in our blog posts this year is to highlight some LOs on the site that we've found useful in class.  I'm teaching inorganic this semester and would like to mention two LOs that I've used recently in class to help students visualize delta and lambda stereoisomers and find symmetry operations.  

8 Feb 2015

What's LO?

Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

A ligand orbital? Lorillard Inc. on the NYSE? Some new element that a bunch of scientists made 5 atoms of that lasted 0.2 microseconds? Well, in the world of VIPEr an LO is a learning object. Great...what's a learning object? Wikipedia defines a learning object as "a collection of content items, practice items, and assessment items that are combined based on a single learning objective".

29 Jan 2015

Embracing the “bewildering array of content”

Submitted by Joanne Stewart, Hope College

I am now four weeks into teaching one of my favorite classes at Hope. The official name is Structure, Dynamics, and Synthesis II, but it is known to all as SUPERCHEM (cape not required)! The subject matter is symmetry, group theory, and computational chemistry.

16 Jan 2015

Inorganic Announcements

Submitted by Barbara Reisner, James Madison University

It's Friday. I've just finished my first week of classes and I'm checking some things off of my "first week of classes to do list." Two of these things are related to the broader inorganic chemistry community - the ACS DIC Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry and the new Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry Exam being developed by the ACS Exams Institute.

12 Jan 2015

A (monthly) community challenge

Submitted by Barbara Reisner, James Madison University

One of the Leadership Council's New Year’s resolutions for 2015 is to get the IONiC community more involved with small projects on VIPEr.

It may be the first day of class, but my first inorganic exam is already coming up (January 28). We thought it would be fun to get some great exam questions on the website in time for everyone's first exam. Exam questions are easy to write and post (as problem sets). We’d love it if you participate in our first-ever exam question challenge.

2 Jan 2015

Insider Info

Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

Most of the leadership council of VIPEr is currently in Tampa, Florida. They are having a 'project meeting'. Honestly, I thought that was just an excuse for them to go some place warm, but they really are working. Our host is Jeff Raker at the University of South Florida. Jeff has been helping us analyze the data from the user surveys that you filled out a little while ago. The day started with a coffee stop (first picture). Contrary to popular belief, we are not sponsored by a certain Seattle-based coffee house. Our first morning was spent working on redesigning the site.


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