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MOODLE - A WAY OF TEACHING CHEMISTRY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

M. Varela, J.P. Leal

Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências (PORTUGAL)
Teaching nowadays without using informatics’ resources and web access is unthinkable. However, teachers are looking for the best way to include these new technologies in their classrooms. The extent to how much they are used depends on the available resources. If an informatics’ application, even if very attractive and helpful, requires a huge amount of resources, a lot of teachers won’t use it.
Moodle [1] is an Open Source Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It has become very popular among teachers around the world as a tool for creating online dynamic web sites for students. Many institutions use it as their platform to conduct fully online courses, while some use it simply to complement classical ones. Some teachers use it to develop collaborative work with their students while others prefer to use Moodle as a way to share classes, data or to receive questions and doubts from students.
The main objectives when doing this work were to provide teachers with an additional tool to use in the classroom and students with an extra visually attractive way of researching and studying. All syllabuses from Portuguese Basic School were covered. However, not only basic concepts were approached. Some deeper insights were also introduced for students who intend to achieve a deeper knowledge. The covered topics (Carbon compounds; Chemical reactions; Separation processes from mixtures; Chemical bond; Atmospheric chemistry; Periodic table; Atomic structure; Acid-Base; Water and Macromolecules) are freely available at http://moodle.externatodaluz.com under “Temas de Química”. The use of the site is monitored every week and the authors intend to do an inquiry to teachers and students to check their utility and usability.