If I designed Learning Technology…

1. The Turnitin screen could be customised to let the students self-assess their work at the point of submission. This could be with the rubric or with questions designed by the academic. 2. Blackboard tests could be deployed via the Blackboard interface during class on student devices, producing the kind of graphs that Turning Technology […]

#ViCEPHEC16 post-conference musings

The highlights of Variety in Chemistry Education/Physics Higher Education Conference are many and varied this year. The conference felt like it was having a wee bit of existential angst, initiated by this EiC blog post (http://www.rsc.org/eic/2016/07/community-clique-conference) on whether the community at the ViCE bit was community or clique, propagated by discussions about the division between […]

Gotta Chem Them All

I recently bought an entry-level smart phone for the main purpose of being able to log into WeChat via a QR code. WeChat is a message app that my Chinese students use but an account requires phone details and the web version uses QR codes to login. On one hand, having a phone for login is […]

Magic Week and Crystal Faeries

REPOST: This was first posted in December 2012 but seems appropriate to revisit now!   There is something special about the lab over the Christmas holidays. There are myths about experiments miraculously starting to work after many months of trying, things falling into place or suddenly making sense. Last Christmas I had the misfortune of […]

Science Friction

REPOST: This was first posted in February 2009. This semester ends with a ‘Chemistry of Science Fiction’ lecture-workshop so it seems appropriate. Perhaps science fiction is to blame for science’s image. Yes, I know you’re rolling your eyes thinking ‘but I loved science fiction and now look at me, the scientist’. Did you ever consider […]

This time of year…

REPOST: This is from last summer (July 2014). This summer was pretty much the same except for not having summer students.  It is the time of year when I get asked what I’m doing at this time of year. Perhaps for students more used to seeing academics within the strictures of the semester timetable, it’s […]

All cleared up

REPOST: This was first posted on Endless Possibilities v2.0 back in May 2009*. As we were recently discussing chemophobia and different definitions of ‘chemical’, it seems relevant. *I’m trying to work out how old Endless Possibilities is, I think it started in 2008…   There are several cultural confusions that cause problems in the chemical […]