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Program Management System - 20th BCCE - Computers in Chemical Education: Best Practices - Interactive animated spreadsheets: Visualizing multivariable systems for discovery learning in general chemistry

Paper Title: Interactive animated spreadsheets: Visualizing multivariable systems for discovery learning in general chemistry
Symposium: Computers in Chemical Education: Best Practices
Session: Session 1 of 2 [2008-07-28 08:00:00 - 11:00:00]
Paper Start Time: 09:40:00
Author: Scott Sinex
Presenter: Scott Sinex
Abstract: Scan a general chemistry textbook and the multitude of static graphs abounds. Wouldn’t it be nice to treat students to a more dynamic approach to the many concepts addressed in general chemistry? Wouldn’t it be nice if we approached topics in a more science process oriented manner, such as data to mathematical model to simulation? Interactive Excel spreadsheets or Excelets can provide this approach with a minimum effort for instructors. Over fifty Excelets have been developed as part of the Chemical Excelets collection, which is available at http://academic.pgcc.edu/~ssinex/excelets/chem_excelets.htm. This presentation will examine the use of numerical experimentation and the predict-test-analyze approach to explore a number of concepts and relationships. Excelets allow the numerical, graphical, symbolic, and verbal description to be accomplished all-in-one. With a data analysis approach many “ideal” mathematical relationships can be discovered by students and then error added to provide a real-world treatment. A number of post-laboratory Excelets, such as Beer’s Law and the ideal gas law, have experimental error analysis included to look at random and systematic errors. The guidelines for producing these computationally-based Excelets are provided at the Developer’s Guide to Excelets website, which includes tutorials, illustrated instructions, and support for getting into mathematical modeling using Excel. Some mathematically more advanced topics can be explored from the conceptual approach, such as competing and consecutive reactions or even enzyme kinetics. Excelets address the visual and kinesthetic learning styles and with the mode of questioning, they drive students toward deeper learning using an engaging pedagogy.
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Requested Duration: 00:20:00

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