[Asis-l] Engaging Students With Cell Phone Technology In Organic Chemistry Instruction

gerrymck gerry.mckiernan at gmail.com
Wed Sep 23 12:35:42 EDT 2009


A Model For Future Complementary / Supplementary Instruction ?

>>>Do Consider Other Applications /Possibilities<<<

[I Just Can See Our Basic Information Literacy Course [Library 160]
...In A Year Or Two]


David P. Pursell / School of Science and Technology / Georgia Gwinnett
College / Lawrenceville, GA 30043 /

Students of organic chemistry traditionally make 3 x 5 in. flash cards
to assist learning nomenclature, structures, and reactions. Advances
in educational technology have enabled flash cards to be viewed on
computers, offering an endless array of drilling and feedback for
students. The current generation of students is less inclined to use
computers, but they use their cell phones 24 hours a day. This report
outlines these trends and an even more recent educational technology
initiative, that of using cell phone flash cards to help students
learn organic chemistry nomenclature, structures, and reactions.
Student attitudes were positive toward cell phone flash cards in a
pilot study and a more detailed study investigating use and effect on
student learning is planned.

CITE: Pursell, David P. J. Chem. Educ. 2009, 86, 1219.



Traditional Approach

A traditional approach to organic chemistry instruction includes
lecture, discussion sections, and laboratory. Students rely on course
texts for substantial supplementation and reinforcement of course
topics presented by the instructor. [snip]. Even with outstanding
texts and the engaging multimedia resources that often accompany them,
students often feel overwhelmed with the pace and content of
introductory organic courses. As noted above, students may then resort
to memorizing as a means of survival. The notion of memorization
depends on one’s perspective, but for the beginning organic student
the nomenclature, functional groups, structures, and reactions are
often viewed as part of “the infamous, dreaded ‘orgo’, a marathon of

To assist students with the task of memorization, all of the texts
noted above consolidate nomenclature, functional groups, structures,
and reactions into callout boxes that focus student attention. In
addition, students often make their own flash cards for these topics.

Electronic, Web-based reaction flash cards are a relatively recent
development, offering an unlimited variety of reactions, reagents, and
products drills, often providing feedback to students (and instructor)
to guide further study effort. [snip] The Web-based reaction flash
cards have been shown effective in enhancing student ability to learn
reactions ... . The disadvantage of the Web-based flash cards is that
they require a desktop or laptop computer and students miss the
learning opportunity of creating their own flash cards.

New Educational Technology Approach


[snip] With the advent of the iPhone and other handheld devices,
students can access this organic course content 24 hours a day. This
24-hour-a-day access is likewise available with “podcasts” that are
appearing in instructional efforts in many disciplines ... .

As students migrate to the versatility, mobility, and convenience of
cell phones—they can listen to music, watch videos, text or call
friends, email, surf the Web, play games—all on a pocket-size device,
the previous allure of the laptop computer is rapidly waning. A
challenge for educators is to capitalize on the pervasive use of cell
phones by younger students for educational purposes. [snip]

[Many More Excerpts]

!!! Thanks To My ISU Colleague / Dr. Jacob D. Schroeder / For The HeadsUp !!!

Currently Access To Article Is To Subscribers Only / No Open Access Version [?]

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Gerry McKiernan

Associate Professor

Science and Technology Librarian

Iowa State University Library

Ames IA 50011

gerrymck at iastate.edu

There Are No Answers, Only Solutions / Olde Irish Saying

The Future Is Already Here, It's Just Not Evenly Distributed

Attributed To William Gibson, SciFi Author / Coined 'Cyberspace

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