UPGRADING A CHEMISTRY BOOK INTO THE XXI CENTURY
1 Health Superior School- Politecnical Institute of Castelo Branco (PORTUGAL)
2 Universidade da Beira Interior (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:In the past, Chemistry books were written to serve mostly as a deposit of knowledge, without much care to the learning skills of the students, books were mostly text with a few images demanding from the student a great ability on creating imaginary process that allows him to fully understand the concepts written in the book. Many of us faced chemistry lesson as something tedious and boring mostly due to the lack of visual stimulation of the chemistry book and the textual explanation of a process a without any support.
Nowadays authors have at their disposal a large number of tools that allows them to create or upgrade old books in order to be much more stimulating and covering new learning areas that were fully disregarded until now. With this spirit we began an ongoing project that starts with a chemistry book written for Chemistry lesson at the University level and intends to upgrade it to the XXI century creating a book centred on the student learning process.
In the University and Polytechnic, teacher tend to write small texts to help students in their study, along the years the number of texts grow and it is enough to produce a book project, which students tend to consider their study guide. Our goal is to start from a collection of small texts and create a study guide much more complete than a traditional book by including several aspects many of them supported by the new Technologies of Information and Communication (TIC) it will be much more than the written pages. A study Guide must include all the theoretical background explained in an easy way and when possible illustrated with images or diagrams to accomplish this we divided the project in two components, the written pages and the computational support each one with their structure and subcomponents.
The written component of the study guide will be given to the students in a PDF file allowing them to access it in the computer or if they want to print it, the authors will easily perform changes in the structure or in the information, in this way the written part will be adjustable to the curriculum differences between courses. The biggest challenge is to create appropriate illustrations to represent chemical process and reactions, to do this part we will get some help from artistic specialists. The computational component is centred in a web page which contains several subcomponents: question test bank; computer simulations; videos, Power Point presentations; tutorial videos; multimedia lessons; glossary; chat room and a section of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The web site will be located on a web server of the campus and will be developed in a joint effort by a team of Informatic Engineering and the Chemistry teacher.
The major contribution of this study guide it will be to center the process of teaching on the student’s skills taking advantage of the new TIC to implement new methodologies more stimulating and able to fully transmit the knowledge. To accomplish this we start by admitting that we will create an imperfect product always needing to be improved, those modifications be pointed in a natural way by the user, either the students or the teacher. The teacher uses this study guide in his classrooms showing some aspects and letting the students discover the rest by themselves.
To the authors, this is truly a XXI century book, not only a piece of paper but a multi-components study guide in constant updating, according to the user needs.
Keywords: chemistry, book, innovation, multimedia teaching, blended learning.