Lab Report Feedback, Part 1: Using Drawboard PDF on a Tablet to Provide Feedback on Student Labs

Throughout my 21 previous years as a teacher, I have really struggled to provide meaningful (and timely!) feedback to my students on their lab reports. Teaching IB Chemistry has really forced me to get better - and I have. Yet I still feel like this is an area for more improvement.I've got a series of blog posts planned to share some ideas with you - and hopefully garner some discussion that will be helpful for me also! First I'd like to share the mechanics of how I provide feedback.

What the MOLE?

mole definition

What is your definition of the term “mole” in chemistry? Many articles have been written about the term and the confusion surrounding it. It was not considered an SI unit (with an IUPAC definition) until 1971. IUPAC is considering a change to the 1971 definition. There has been discussion about whether the SI definition of the mole as determined by IUPAC necessarily needs to be identical to the definition used by chemists and teachers. This article provides a short list of some recent JCE articles discussing the change and what it might mean for teachers while also considering some misconceptions related to the mole in chemistry class.


JCE 92.08—August 2015 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education August 2015 Cover

Using Models and Modeling To Teach

The August 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers.  This issue includes articles on modeling instruction; Lewis dot structure model; molecular models; using models to teach crystal symmetry; introductory activities and labs; organic chemistry investigations and tools for engagement; enabling chemistry training for low vision or blind students; chemical education research in the literature; celebrating the work of Melanie Cooper; forensic chemistry articles from past issues.

Defining Conceptual Understanding in General Chemistry

There have been numerous educational initiatives that have driven the push for helping students develop deep conceptual understanding. One of the difficulties for educators is assessing whether students have actually made gains in understanding. Ask any teacher to define “conceptual understanding” and their definition may be very different from the next teacher’s definition. The authors of this timely article have taken the definitions of well over a thousand instructors and identified a consensus articulation of what conceptual understanding is.  This article will be of interest to any teacher struggling to assess their student’s conceptual understanding of content. 

International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference

How can our pedagogy broaden ideas of difference within and beyond the classroom to include social, cultural, linguistic, modal, and media differences, among others? Conference organizers welcome proposals that explore ways in which Writing Across the Curriculum can promote a dialogue on difference and inclusivity and encourage representatives of different populations to offer their multiple voices and perspectives on Writing Across the Curriculum today.