IIMS 92 contents
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Comprehensive chemistry curriculum

Mort Kagan
IBM Corporation, USA
Chemistry is an experimental science centred on the interaction between materials. However, safety, time and expense limitations make it extremely difficult to design appropriate experiments for students which involve actually seeing the chemical reactions taking place. To overcome this limitation, interactive videodisc applications like the Comprehensive Chemistry Curriculum have been developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in Illinois, USA.

This application has allowed the University to create a new lab course for the first semester of general chemistry. The new course alternates weeks of laboratory work with self paced interactive video lessons. The lessons are designed to supplement the laboratory experiments and to prepare students to perform procedures they will use later in the laboratory.

The time efficient nature of interactive videodisc lessons has allowed the University to upgrade experiments in the laboratory. In fact, it was found that the combination of labs and computer based lessons has allowed the University to increase the amount of skills training without increasing the time spent in the lab.

The Comprehensive Chemistry Curriculum courseware includes Exploring Chemistry II, Introduction to General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry. Also included is a Classroom Network Management system which will control the use of courseware by the students and provide the required privacy of registration information. All of the courseware is currently in use at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as other colleges and universities.

Exploring Chemistry II has been rewritten for IBM's newest multimedia technology, the M-Motion video system. This device allows the use of standard IBM PS/2 Monitors to display full colour and full motion video. Exploring Chemistry II takes full advantage of this technology to deliver high quality instruction for experimental chemistry. Procedures too expensive, too time consuming, or even too dangerous to perform in a classroom environment, can now be included in the chemistry curriculum.

Possibly the most significant benefit of this curriculum innovation is that it allows instructors more time for individual guidance without adding to the teaching load. Exploring Chemistry has twice won Best Chemistry Software honours at the EDUCOM/NCRIPTAL Higher Education awards competition.

Please cite as: Kagan, M. (1992). Comprehensive chemistry curriculum. In Promaco Conventions (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Interactive Multimedia Symposium, 449. Perth, Western Australia, 27-31 January. Promaco Conventions. http://www.aset.org.au/confs/iims/1992/kagan2.html

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