What is the ChemWiki?

The ChemWiki is a unique approach toward chemistry education where a textbook environment is constantly being written and re-written partly by students and partly by faculty members resulting in a free General Chemistry textbook to supplant conventional costly paper-based books.

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What is the underling ChemWiki philosopy?

As the American population increases its current and future educational priorities, universities and colleges are pressured to educate an increasing number of undergraduate students. This will result in a swelling of class rosters and force departments to instruct more students with less personalized approaches. Consequently, an increasing number of students falling on the periphery of the performance bell curve will receive a less than optimal education, with less-scientifically oriented students struggling with class material and more-scientifically oriented students remaining unmotivated. Failure to successfully educate this broad range of students leads to significant implications for the future of science and technology. The education of students at both extremes requires a flexible, integrated approach that must simultaneously target students at all levels of performance. Outlined here is an approach that addresses the concurrent education of students at different levels of scientific performance within the same class without adopting multiple sets of written resources. Central to this approach is the development of an online textbook environment based on the Internet to augment and ultimately supplant traditional introductory chemistry textbooks. The development of this online text is the initial step for the formation of a fully integrated Internet system that once complete will, via an automated computer database, portion out personalized learning experiences and formative assessments for each student every week based on their performance and progress. Feedback between student performance and instructor will come from several sources: 1) in class electronic personal response systems, 2) itemized quiz/exam scores, 3) homework (either via online or offline) results and 4) direct monitoring of the number of completed homework problems and online text “chapters” read. The Internet is an ideal medium for constructing a textbook to empower instructors and departments with the flexibility to dictate the content, structure and difficulty of course material without sacrificing the core stability required for solid instruction. A well formulated online textbook allows for the simultaneous education of students at differing performance levels by offering multiple levels of difficulty and sophistication to tailor content and approach. It also provides a flexible learning environment capable of addressing multiple modes of student learning and ability to scaffold instruction.

How to get access this new resource?

Go check for youself at ChemWiki.ucdavis.edu.