Webinar: Computers as teaching and learning support in laboratory classes

Webinar: Computers as teaching and learning support in laboratory classes

As an additional activity after the online course ‘Teaching in University Science Laboratories (Developing Best Practice)’ is finished, on 6 February 2019, from 13.00-14.00 (CET, Brussels time) a webinar about the use of computers to support the teaching and learning process in laboratory classes will be organised.

Sjors Verstege who is doing his PhD research in this field will share his results obtained at the Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. Please find here below a short abstract of his talk. As an introduction to this webinar we will give a short (5 minutes) retrospect of the online course Teaching in University Science Laboratories (Developing Best Practice) and give you some information about the future plans.

We cordially invite you to join this free webinar and to register for it via the application form that you can find on the ECTN website:
http://ectn.eu/work-groups/lecturing-qualifications-and-innovative-teaching-methods-2/

Webinar Teaching in University Science Laboratories
Sjors Verstege: Computers as teaching and learning support in laboratory classes
Laboratory education is a commonly used practice in natural science education and is generally
regarded as a vital component of a chemistry curriculum. Teachers have several goals for laboratory classes, including hands-on research experience, group work, broader communication skills, data collection and (error) analysis, planning, and laboratory report writing. However, many of these goals have been argued to be better accomplished outside the cognitively demanding learning environment of the laboratory.
Careful preparation for laboratory classes, such as practicing with the chemical concepts and data analysis skills, has proven to increase the quality of knowledge construction during laboratory classes. Virtual and simulated laboratories are valuable assets to prepare students for laboratory classes, and are also a convenient and effective replacement of laboratory classes, especially in contexts where the laboratory is not an option such as distance education.
During the webinar, I will discuss:
The potential of simulations to help students prepare for laboratory classes
How such simulations can be designed, following the design oriented research approach
The role that online platforms can play in the laboratory classes design (example Labbuddy platform)
The results of a case study performed at Wageningen University

Biography
Sjors Verstege is a 3rd year PhD candidate at Wageningen University, working at the laboratory of food chemistry. Before starting his PhD, Sjors obtained a BSc and MSc in Food Technology, with a minor in education. Sjors has 4 years of experience in educational development. His current project has 2 foci: The first is to design, implement, and evaluate virtual experiment environments (VEEs) that are used in undergraduate food chemistry education. The second is to analyse student behaviour in VEEs, and relating this to students’ learning outcomes and self-regulation.

Report of the 2nd Employment Survey for European Chemists published

Report of the 2nd Employment Survey for European Chemists published

The report of the 2nd Employment Survey for European Chemists (ESEC2) has just been published. The report, prepared by Reiner Salzer, Chair of the ECTN Label Committee and in cooperation with the European Chemical Society, analyses data received in 2017, from a total of 2754 chemists and chemical engineers and delves into the employment conditions and career opportunities for chemists in Europe. The report is freely available in Chemistry, a ChemPubSoc journal.

The ESEC2 is based on the experience of the first European employment survey (ESEC1) which was carried out in 2013, although both the questionnaire and the technology have been much reworked. The figures take a look at a variety of aspects, including education levels, career planning, job satisfaction, employment sectors and salaries. The conditions and opportunities are individually analysed for all countries with a stastistically significant number of responses. The results in turn provide important clues for careers in these countries, and in Europe as a whole. This is the first general evaluation of the survey and provides many details about the chemistry workforce in Europe and its development.

Teaching in University Science Laboratories – new online course

Teaching in University Science Laboratories – new online course

The Lecturing Qualifications and Innovative Teaching Methods Working Group of ECTN is developing an online course for professional development of lecturers in laboratory courses entitled: Teaching in University Science Laboratories (Developing Best Practice). The Online course is delivered on the MOOC platform Coursera. The course is targeted at relatively inexperienced university teachers who teach in the lab courses. You can find a position paper about the course here.

The next course Teaching in University Science Laboratories (Developing Best Practice) will be given as a private online course on Coursera and will start on November 12 2018.
Download Leaflet about the Online Course November 2018

To apply for this course, please fill in the application form:

Application form

ECTN General Assembly 2018

ECTN General Assembly 2018

The ECTN General Assembly took place in Prague on 18-22 April 2018 along with meetings of the ECTN Standing Committees and Working Groups. The Assembly was decidedly pan-European, with participation supported by chemists from the United States to Russia. The meeting was opened by Prof Pavel Matějka, the Vice-Rector of University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague and by Prof. Pilar Goya Laza, President of the European Chemical Society – EuChemS.

The invited plenary lecture on “IUPAC and its role in chemistry education and chemistry research activities” was given by Prof Chris Brett (IUPAC Vice President/President-Elect). Keynote lectures were given by Prof Reiner Salzer, ECTN Label Committee Chair on ‘’Employment survey news, collaboration with EuChemS and ACS’’ and by Dr Hugo Kittel, UCT Prague, Operational Programme Manager on ‘’Teaching project approach in technologically oriented subjects’’. Dr Lily Raines, Manager, Office of Science Outreach of the American Chemical Society (ACS) organised a workshop on ‘’ACS Chemistry Festivals’’, with many practical and entertaining chemistry experiments.

Prof Emmanuel Sinagra was sworn in as the new ECTN president and Prof Leo Gros was elected as Chair of the Standing Committee on Quality Standards in Teaching – a new Standing Committee. During the meeting there were broad discussions on the many ECTN activities, including the “accreditation” activity in the field of awarding the “Eurolables” to quality chemical HEI programmes, the vast scheme of internet based chemistry examination tests “eChem Tests”, and the database “Mobicchems (Transparency)”, the latter which enables students to choose suitable study programmes abroad (e.g. for the Erasmus exchange stay).

In addition, the video-based Module for teaching “Ethics to Chemists”, the Course for laboratory teachers “Teaching in University Science Laboratories”, the Lecturing Qualifications and innovative teaching methods were presented and discussed. And last but not least, the “student-oriented activities” that support the quality of education in chemistry at secondary school level was also presented and debated.

Prof Chris Brett, President-Elect of IUPAC, was awarded the Medal of the Czech Chemical Society, the highest award of the Society.

Pavel Drašar, ECTN Vice-President