:async: OERs in Chemistry-Curation, Creation and More

Authors: Ajita Deshmukh, Gomathi Shridhar, Lakshmy Ravishankar
Institutions: School of Education and Research, MIT-ADT University, Pune, V.K.Krishna Menon College of Commerce and Economics and S.S. Dighe College of Science, Mumbai, KET’s V.G.Vaze College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mumbai.
Country: India

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Higher Education
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Presentation

Abstract

The growing advent of technology has resulted in a boom in the availability of open education resources. Open Education resources provide an easy access to a wide range of material which are beneficial to all the stakeholders. For the teacher, it helps to design the curriculum based on the needs of the class and for the student it is easy access to study material any time any where, helping them to learn at their own pace. Blended learning is just picking up in many Universities and colleges in India and the use of OERs as additional resources has got an impetus with the Government sponsored technology enhanced learning programs like Swayam, NPTEL etc. Further in the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic,all higher education institutions are opting for the online mode of teaching learning and OERS have emerged as attractive and ready sources of learning materials. Formal chemistry education is marred by the absence of social, political and historical context. Students memorise the content- the reactions, the processes and the chemistry without understanding how these developments actually took place and the possible reasons behind them. Therefore, the students miss out on crucial aspects : the establishment of the discipline of Chemistry, its interdisciplinary nature and the human struggles behind these events. This makes the study of Chemistry disconnected from real life, in the form of silos. The authors have been part of the OE4BW mentoring project for the past two years and have used the opportunity to develop short course modules in different topics in Chemistry. The course “Chemystery: Unraveling the history of Chemistry” catered to the disconnect between the subject and its evolution and tried to bring in the importance of interdisciplinary perspective for a wholesome Chemistry education experience. The course “Organic Chemistry in everyday life” tried to expose learners to the central position of Chemistry in all aspects of our lives. Organic Chemistry is very often perceived by students as a volatile subject involving a lot of memorisation. Important topics like Retrosynthesis, Pericyclic reactions, Nucleophilic substitutions and others are normally considered very difficult by the students as many of these topics involve 3-D visualisation and often involve a sequential building up of concepts. In order to address these issues, the authors developed short MOOCs , and the paper will present their journey in the development of the courses, the challenges faced and how they were overcome and also the feedback of the participants

Keywords

OERs, Chemistry OERs, Organic chemistry, History of chemistry, Chemystery, OE4BW, Retrosynthesis, Pericyclic reactions