16 – Online Conference: Help with “Chem Math”

On Monday, October 23, an ACS DivChEd conference will begin an online discussion of “Improving Student Skills in the Mathematics of Chemistry.”

In eight papers (2 per week for 4 weeks), college and high school instructors will describe their strategies, successes, and challenges in seeking to address student difficulties with “Chem Math.”  The conference format includes opportunity for online questions, and the online comments from readers are often lively.

Among the topics:

  • Paper 1 describes teaching college Physical Chemistry without allowing calculators.
  • In Paper 2, a Texas study at 6 universities finds that the better 400 first semester general chemistry students did on average on a test of simple ”chem math” without a calculator, the better was their semester grade, but the better they did on the same test with a calculator, the worse was their score without a calculator and worse on average was their semester grade.
  • Paper 4 makes a persuasive argument that log calculations (and more) can and should be done without a calculator.

Papers are posted now at https://confchem.ccce.divched.org/2017FallConfChem . Anyone may read the papers, comments, and questions, but question or comment submission requires a free registration (see instructions at the link).  Please join in this discussion!