Committee on Computers in Chemical Education, Winter 2011 & Spring 2012

Robert E. Belford, Chair 2010-2012 []

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. These conferences can be focused on any aspect of chemical education, and there are currently two ConfChem Conferences in queue.

  • ICCE-ECRICE 2012 PreConference Virtual Colloquium:  A Virtual Colloquium to Sustain and Celebrate IYC 2011 Initiatives in Global Chemical Education, May & June 2012, organized by Liberato Cardellini, Mustafa SOZBILIR & Robert E. Belford
  • Teaching and Learning Chemistry with MOODLE, May & June 2013, organized by Lance Dewey, Linda Fanis & Janice Tomasik

A description of the above conferences can be found in the ConfChem section of this newsletter and we are currently seeking conference organizers for 2014 & 2015. These conferences can be on any topic of interest to the chemical education community. Please contact Bob Belford (  if you are interested in organizing a future ConfChem conference.
The committee is sponsoring the upcoming symposia relating to the use of computers in chemical education:

  • Research on the design and use of simulations and animations, 22nd BCCE, 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, 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 workshops.

  • Navigating an internet of chemistry via ChemSpider and the WikiHyperGlossary, 22nd BCCE, Antony J. Williams, Martin A. Walker and Robert E. Belford.  This workshop will introduce participants to the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemspider, an online database, chemical information and curation service utilizing web 2.0 technologies and delivering information regarding over 25 million unique chemical compounds. Participants will be guided through hands-on tutorials of ChemSpider including text, structure and substructure based searches. Explanations will be given of how new standard structure formats are enabling the interlinking of the web and how to search across the web for structure-based information.  Participants will gain an understanding of the ChemSpider data curation services and how to upload and obtain spectral and other data. There will also be a short introduction to the ChemEd DL WikiHyperGlossary, a social semantic information literacy and acquisition tool that automates the markup of digital text documents and web pages connecting them canonical IUPAC and social glossaries, while also connecting them to ChemSpider through both glossary terms and molecular editors. This workshop is sponsored by the ACS DivCHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education, further information can be obtained at Workshops. The workshop team includes project leaders of both ChemSpider and the WikiHyperGlossary.
  • Social networking tools for chemists, 22nd BCCE, Antony J. Williams Martin A. Walker & Robert E. Belford.  The web has revolutionized the manner by which we can represent ourselves online by providing us the ability to expose our data, experiences and skills online via blogs, wikis and other crowdsourcing venues. As a result it is possible to contribute to the community while developing a social profile as a scientist. At present many scientists are still measured by their contributions using the classical method of citation statistics and a number of freely available online tools are now available for scientists to manage their profile. This presentation will provide an overview of tools including Blogs, Wikis, LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Google Scholar Citations and Microsoft Academic Search and will discuss how these will, in the future, more fully recognize the collective contributions of scientists. This presentation will be delivered by Antony Williams, VP of Strategic Development for the Royal Society of Chemistry, and @ChemConnector in the social network. This workshop is sponsored by the ACS DivCHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education and further information can be obtained at Workshops
  • Wikis for chemical educators, 22nd BCCE, Antony J. Williams Martin A. Walker & 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.  Attendees will be shown chemistry-related extensions that allow organic structures to be entered as searches or as 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 with their teaching.

The committee is in the preliminary stages of organizing an intercollegiate OLCC (Online Chemistry Course) in ChemInformatics. The last OLCC was held in 2004 and was an interdivisional OLCC between DCHAS and DivCHED on Chemical Health and Safety. This course was offered at 8 universities 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 and cheminformatic technologies that would be of value to chemists. Please contact Bob Belford ( if you would be interested in becoming involved with this project.

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