Committee on Computers in Chemical Education Report, Fall 2012

The Committee on Computers in Chemical Education is a standing committee of the Division of Chemical Education, which according to the bylaws “seeks to encourage, publicize and support the development, implementation and assessment of computing technologies in chemical education”. The CCCE runs an annual Fall online newsletter, and as a service to the general chemical education community the CCCE hosts the online ConfChem conferences.

The Spring 2012 ConfChem, A Virtual Colloquium to Sustain and Celebrate IYC 2011 Initiatives in Global Chemical Education ran from May 18-June 28. During the conference the 12 papers and national initiatives received 11,616 hits and 141 comments. The papers and comments can be accessed at the ConfChem site;

The Spring 2013 ConfChem, Teaching and Learning Chemistry with MOODLE will be held in May & June 2013 and is organized by Lance Dewey, Linda Fanis & Janice Tomasik. If you are interested in organizing a ConfChem in 2014 or beyond please contact Bob Belford (

The committee is sponsoring the following symposia:

  • Research on the design and use of simulations and animations, 22nd BCCE, 9:30am-12:00PM, July 31 organized by Kelly Lancaster. This symposium, sponsored by the CHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education, will provide a forum for research on the design and use of simulations and animations. Presentations should address questions such as: What design features make for effective simulations and animations? What are best practices for using simulations and animations in teaching? How do we assess the impact of simulations and animations on student learning? Any theory-based or research-based presentations on these topics or related topics are welcome.
  • Web-Based Resources for Chemical Education, 22nd BCCE, with 4 sessions on July 31 and August 1st and organized by Robert M. Hanson, John H. Penn & Robert E. Belford. This symposium seeks presentations from both developers and educators relating to internet-based resources that can be utilized for the teaching and learning of chemistry. We are looking for presentations from the perspectives of both developers and implementers. Resources might involve web-based applications, social and semantic technologies, and other means by which the web is influencing the way scientists and educators communicate information, particularly in the area of chemical education. Papers are invited relating to specific web-based applications, creative solutions to web-based issues in the context of chemical education, reports of the impact of web-based applications on pedagogy and learning, and visions of the future. The overall objective of the symposium is to provide educators and developers the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technologies and to share their resources and experiences. This symposium is sponsored by the CHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education.
  • Mobile devices, augmented reality, and the mobile classroom, 244th ACS National Meeting, Harry E. Pence & Antony J. Williams. As more and more students are bringing web-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers into the classroom, it is important to ask how this will change the teaching and learning process. Since most students always carry their smartphones, these devices provide constant access to web pages, podcasts, videos, and other instructional materials during lectures. Mobile devices are also a powerful vehicle for both markered and markerless augmented reality applications. Unfortunately, such devices may also be a significant source of distraction. How can teachers maximize the utility of these powerful learning devices while minimizing the opportunities for students’ minds to wander onto Facebook, other social networking sites and text/emailing? This symposium invites presentations that will suggest what the mobile-based classroom of the future will look like.

The CCCE is sponsoring the following workshop from 2-5PM on Monday, July 30 at the 2012 BCCE.

  • Wikis for chemical educators, 22nd BCCE, Martin A. Walker, Antony J. Williams & Robert E. Belford. This workshop will demonstrate how to use a wiki, going from the basics through to more advanced features such as templates and quizzes. A breakout session will give both beginners and experienced users the chance to explore topics at their own skill level. Different wiki types will be introduced and instructions given on establishing a wiki in the “cloud”. Attendees will be shown chemistry-related extensions that allow organic structures to be entered as searches or a quiz answers. Some useful chemistry wikis will be examined, both as resources and as course platforms, in order to highlight some of the ways the technology can be used. By the end of the session, attendees should have the capability to design and establish a basic wiki to use in their teaching. This workshop is sponsored by the ACS DivCHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education and further information can be obtained at

The committee is in the preliminary stages of organizing an intercollegiate OLCC (OnLine College Course) in ChemInformatics in collaboration with ACS CINF and the Indiana Cheminformatics Education Portal. The last OLCC was held in 2004 and was an interdivisional OLCC between DCHAS and DivCHED on Chemical Health and Safety and more information on OLCCs can be found at It is our intention that this course will provide an up-to-date coverage of online and open resources in cheminformatic technologies that would be of value to future chemists. Please contact Bob Belford ( or David Wild ( if you would be interested in becoming involved with this project.

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