Chemistry (12) The "Online Chemistry: Problems, Concepts and Contexts" project is creating a set of web-based instructional materials covering topics in introductory chemistry that are difficult to teach and learn, including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, and solubility. Students currently spend a substantial amount of instructional time solving quantitative problems on these topics. The online materials help to maximize the learning benefits of this time by better coupling the problem solving to chemical concepts and to the use of these concepts in modern science. The instructional modules are grounded in both the broader instructional principles of learning science and more specific results obtained from observing students solving chemistry problems. In particular, the online materials implement an instructional approach to equilibrium that initial results found to more than double student performance on difficult problems and that lays a powerful conceptual framework on which acid-base and other related topics build.
The molecular science covered in these materials is becoming an increasingly important aspect of science and engineering. By providing students with robust knowledge of chemical concepts, the modules prepare students for careers across multiple STEM disciplines. The materials are broadly disseminated through the web, conferences and publications. Because the materials are developed in a manner that allows for easy modifications, even for highly interactive components, both the original authors and the community as a whole can use the information gleaned on how students learn to iteratively improve the materials.