EChemTest® is the electronic Self Evaluation Session (SES) test service run by the ECTN Association (www.ectn.eu) through its Virtual Education Community (VEC) committee to evaluate Chemistry competences for:
• Professional workers seeking career developments and industrial mobility: of progression at work, of self-evaluation for motivation and starting a formal course or taking a national examination;
• Students seeking for European Academic Exchange: of evaluation of the chemistry knowledge as well as the understanding of chemistry in a foreign language to undertake a period of study in another country, or to evaluate competence at a European level;
• Citizens interested in self-evaluating his/her knowledge in chemistry: to pursue life-long learning.
Information on the origin, motivations and evolution of EChemTest® are given in the section BACKGROUND where details on the different European Life Long Learning Projects which provided financial support to the ECTN efforts to achieve its educational objectives since 1996 are listed.
EChemTest® SESs are up to one hour long test sessions consisting of a set of 30 randomly selected Questions and Answers (Q&A)s run on the cloud by the local examiner. The Open Source software EOL (https.//echemtest.libreeol.org) is used (see the relevant user guide in https://echemtest.libreeol.org/doc/ECHEMTestGuide.pdf) for this purpose. The large bank of Q&As covers the de facto standard contents of the ECTN Eurolabels grouped into Libraries of four different levels:
• Pre-University (Level-1): a person at the end of compulsory education (General Chemistry 1 (GC1));
• University Access (Level-2): a person at the beginning of Chemistry related University studies (General Chemistry 2 (GC2));
• University Bachelor (Level-3): a person at the end of the Core Chemistry Syllabus at the University Level as defined in the «Chemistry Eurobachelor®» (e.g. Analytical Chemistry 3 (AC3); Biological Chemistry 3 (BC3); Chemical Engineering 3 (CE3); Inorganic Chemistry 3 (IC3); Organic Chemistry 3 (OC3); Physical Chemistry 3 (PC3));
• University Master (Level-4): a person at the end of a Master degree in one of the specialized chemistry areas in agreement with the «Chemistry Euromaster®» requirement (Computational Chemistry 4 (CC4); Conservation Science 4 (CS4); Advanced Organic Chemistry 4 (AOC4)).
EChemTest® Libraries are maintained and administered by the VEC with the support of an ad hoc Panel of experts for each Library. Information on the VEC activities, and the offer of services (to both ECTN members and third parties) and on the Library Panels are given in the COMMITTEE IN OFFICE section.
EChemTest® activities are run according to the Prosumer collaborative model (a prosumer may act both as a producer and as a consumer of the agreed service after signing an ad hoc Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Accordingly:
• ECTN acts as a PRODUCER when managing directly/indirectly EChemTest® activities (e.g. by coordinating the TCs (Test Centres), Libraries, e-test software, etc.) and as a CONSUMER when using facilities and competences of the TCs for its own purposes;
• ECTN member signatory of the ad hoc MOU acts as PRODUCER when supporting upon request EChemTest® activities through its own TC and competences and as a CONSUMER when running EChemTest® activities for their own use;
• ECTN AGENCY signatory of the ad hoc MOU acts as PRODUCER when spinning the market for services to third parties and paid activities on behalf of ECTN and handles payments and credits/debits offsetting mechanisms.
EChemTest® is a cloud-based service which can be accessed using a Web browser compliant with HTML5 (Chrome, Firefox, Opera). The service is available in several languages (English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Slovenian). People not familiar with e-tests, should train themselves with the ad hoc demonstration tests (please forward the request to http://www.chem-learn.com/demo-libraries-request/) before taking any of the official SESs.
EChemTest® SESs are run either in a National TC or in an Accredited Test Site (ATS) belonging to (or associated with) a Higher Education Institution (HEI) member of ECTN and signatory of the ad hoc MoU. In the MOU the HEI commits itself to run EChemTest® SESs under controlled conditions, to get its own personnel trained for that function, to provide the resources needed to fulfil related responsibilities and to ensure the participation of its personel to the VEC activities as illustrated in the TEST CENTRES section.
The academic use of EChemTest® covers a wide area of T&L academic applications (like evaluating students’ dispersion, awarding curricular credits, supporting students’ mobility, training on laboratory practice, etc.). The non-academic use of EChemTest® covers individual and market oriented applications (like building lifelong learning curricula, delivering professional training, issuing Individual Proficiency Certificates (IPC) of the «ECTN – European Chemistry Certificate» useful for international mobility and career advancement, etc). Among non-academic activities run by the Agencies are the organization of commercial events and the support to companies and professional association activities.
EChemTest® information and request at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ECTN General Assembly 2020 will be held from October 3 to October 4 2020 in Perugia, Italy, provided that the situation in Italy will allow it.
The website for the General Assembly is opened.
Please note that you are therefore asked to keep these dates free, but not to make any travel or accommodation arrangements until the situation is clear. We will inform you later whether this new date can be maintained.
The ECTN Administrative Council have decided to postpone the ECTN 2020 General Assembly. Therefore, the meeting will no longer take place on 4 – 5 April 2020.
This precautionary measure is taken in response to the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak.
However, the meeting will still be held in Perugia, Italy. The new date of the meeting will be announced later.
The ECTN General Assembly 2020 will be held from April 4 to April 5 2020 in Perugia, Italy, at the Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnologies (DCBB) and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (DMI) of the University of Perugia.
The 2020 General Assembly will see the elections for President-elect and for Administrative Council members.
There will be a Label Committee coaching event on Thursday and Friday 2-3 April. This event is open to anyone from an ECTN Member Institution, and younger ECTN members are strongly encouraged to participate. This coaching event is necessary for anyone wishing to join the Label Committee Panel of Experts and take part in assessing Eurolabel applications.
There will be an EChemTest and G-Lorep (Learning Object Repository) training event on Friday 3 April.
The website for the General Assembly is opened.
Please note that there is a national meeting of journalists in Perugia at the same time as our meeting so it is advisable to book accommodation as early as possible. Information will be available on the website.
The ECTN Work Group ‘Lecturing Qualifications and Innovative Teaching Methods’ has developed an new online course entitled ‘Teaching in University Science Laboratories (Developing Best Practice)’
The next session of this course is ready to start on March 2. You can find the information and free enrollment here: https://www.coursera.org/learn/developing-university-lab-education along with further details on the content of the course.
The ECTN Association General Assembly was held at the Faculty of Chemistry, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland on 13-14 April 2019 under the Presidency of Emmanuel Sinagra (University of Malta).
After a welcome from our hosts and a brief presentation of the Faculty of Chemistry at the Jagiellonian University, Prof. Rudi van Eldik (Faculty of Chemistry, Jagiellonian University and University of Erlangen_Nuremburg, DE) gave a very entertaining and thought provoking lecture entitled ‘Chemistry with Feeling’. Rudi van Eldik is very well known for his chemistry demonstration lectures that are extremely popular with both school and university students.
This was followed by a joint presentation by Natasa Brouwer (University of Amsterdam) and Iwona Maciejowska (Jagiellonian University) on the successes of the ECTN Work Group on Lecturing Qualifications and Innovative Teaching Methods. This group has produced an online course entitled ‘Teaching in University Science Laboratories’. In the second year of running this course in 2018 there were 144 participants of which 85 completed the course and gained the certificate. There is now a plan to make this available as a MOOC on Coursera, twice a year in September and February. More information will be available on the work group web pages on the ECTN website.
There followed a presentation of EChemTest statistics showing how the various pass levels for the tests have been arrived at and the advantages gained by moving the tests from the commercial QuestionMark programme to the Open Source EOL software developed at Perugia University. This has allowed us to create more Test Centres (there are now 16 and it is expected to increase to 18 in 2019) and there is no limit to the number of test sessions we can run.
At the General Assembly the following Committees and Work Groups held working sessions:
Chemistry Student Mobility and Database, Lecturing Qualifications and Innovative Teaching Methods, Chemistry in Everyday Life, Quality Standards in Teaching Committee, Joint and Multiple Degrees, and Activities for Students. The outcomes from these sessions can be found (or will be found shortly) on the Work Group or Committee webpages on www.ectn.eu.
At the business session of the Assembly, the President Emmanuel Sinagra ‘University of Malta) congratulated the Label Committee and Virtual Education Community Committee which are working very well and are responsible for attracting new members including the Universidad Mayor de San Andres, La Paz, Bolivia. Unfortunately their contact person was unable to attend the General Assembly due to last minute visa problems. However, we were able to show a video presenting the UMSA during our meeting. The UMSA is now an EChemTest Test Centre following a successful online training course for them, thanks to cooperation from Rey Juan Carlos University and Complutense University in Madrid.
Reiner Salzer is retiring from the position of Chair of the Label Committee. He was warmly thanked for all the work he has done for the Association over many years and especially for his work as Chair of the Label Committee. He will be replaced by Pavel Drasar (UCT Prague) on July 1st, 2019.
ECTN has now set up a new Standing Committee entitled Quality Standards in Teaching. One of their activities is to develop an outline and possible requirements for a Euroteacher Label. The mobility database, originally called MOBICCHEMS, has been renamed the Chemistry Student Database and is in the process of being transferred from Toulouse to the ECTN website. The people at Toulouse, especially Anne-Marie Billet, Caroline Sablayrolles, and Severine Camy were thanked for all the work they did in developing the database.
The members approved the accounts for 2018, the revised budget for 2019, and a budget for 2020. The membership fee will remain at 350 Euros.
An election for a member of the Administrative Council was held. There were 3 candidates for 1 position on the Council. In a very close contest, Livia Simon Sarkadi, Szent Istvan University, Budapest, HU was elected. Pita Vandevelde, who is leaving the Administrative Council, was thanked for her work within ECTN over many years and it is hoped that she will be able to come back and make further contributions in the future.
The first session on Sunday 14 April included an excellent and informative plenary lecture on ‘The Experiences of the Establishment and Implementation of Doctoral and Master Double Degree Programmes around Europe’ by Prof. Pavel Matejka (UCT Prague). He described the many issues that need to be resolved when double or multiple degree programmes are set up. These include the compatibility of study programmes, organizational aspects, accreditation aspects, financial details for both institutions and students, administration, timing and national laws versus university study rules. UCT Prague has a number of double degree programmes so the presentation provided an authoritative survey of these aspects.
There followed a workshop that enabled all participants to sample the various EChemTests. More details about activities concerning the EChemTest can be found on the EChemTest webpages. Members are urged to promote the use of these tests.
At the meeting dinner ECTN Awards were presented to:
Pascal Mimero for his work over almost 20 years that involved creating the ECTN website, editing the newsletter and establishing the EChemTest. This work laid the solid foundations on which the Association’s visibility was established and on which the EChemTest has been able to develop.
Reiner Salzer for his work as Chair of the Label Committee that has further developed the Eurolabels® as a significant part of European accreditation of chemistry programmes and leaves a sound base for further initiatives. Also for his role in creating the European Employment Survey for chemists that has been so successful in recent years.
The next General Assembly of the Association will take place in April 2020 in Perugia, Italy. The precise date will be communicated to all members later.
You are not a member of the Association? Why not join?
The Association is becoming increasingly active and influential in higher education in chemistry in Europe. The very successful quality Eurolabels® for bachelor, master, and doctorate, the EChemTest® which is now developing rapidly towards widespread use by the membership of the Association, participation in the virtual education area in general, and development of student contests and online courses for university teachers are just some of the Association activities. Other activities involve Quality Standards in Teaching, Chemistry Student Mobility, Joint and Multiple Degrees and Chemistry in Everyday Life.
Visit our website at www.ectn.eu or contact Tony Smith (Anthony.smith[at]cpe.fr) for details of how to join the Association and become involved, as well as obtain the many advantages offered by membership.