chemistry

Helping Students Write Chemistry into Their Daily Lives

In most disciplines, the ability to write is necessary in order to send notifications about new findings or research. For undergraduate Chemistry students, the ability to clearly express yourself is needed when authoring a laboratory report, answering a short response exam question, etc. For this reason and because I want my General Chemistry students to see that Chemistry is a part of their daily life—not just stuff in a textbook—I require a writing assignment with two sections of 300 students. The assignment is submitted to Turnitin to discourage plagiarism. I do allow students to see their originality report and Read More…


Challenging Chemistry No Match for Student Using OWLv2

Danielle Riboul, Post-Bachelor’s student at Florida Atlantic University, excelled in her chemistry class despite a heavy course load and three jobs, thanks to mastering homework with OWLv2 from Cengage.

Student Success Story

Challenge: Danielle, a conscientious, yet time-pressed neuroscience major, needed efficient learning resources to practice and prepare for tests Solution: OWLv2 General Chemistry Result: OWLv2 with an integrated eBook allowed Danielle to do homework on her laptop wherever she was; guided mastery activities with feedback helped her practice and improve problem solving skills—and get an A in the course

Read how Danielle Mastered Chemistry with OWLv2

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Research in STEM: Interactive Reading Assignments

Guest contributor: Vickie Williamson, Instructional Associate Professor at Texas A&M As a chemistry instructor, I’m no stranger to digital learning products. I received an informative demonstration of OWL back in 2001 and was so impressed that I adopted and began using it in my classroom the very next semester.

MindTap General Chemistry

Then, when I saw the MindTap demo, I liked the idea of having my students’ homework questions embedded right into the text on the same screen. However, I wasn’t sure if it could possibly produce better results than OWL. That’s because, from 2001 to 2012 85-95 Read More…


7 Steps to Designing a High-Engagement Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom model is one of the fastest growing trends in education right now and it’s no wonder that more and more schools are embracing the methods to improve learning outcomes, engage students, and make learning more fun. One of the biggest challenges instructors face when transitioning from a traditional lecture course to a flipped classroom model is making sure that students are adequately prepared for each in-class session. OWLv2, the chemistry online learning system from Cengage, is designed to support learning through the four phases of the flipped classroom model, but especially during the Read More…


Health Science Student Strives for Success in School and Work

As a full-time health science student with a part-time job, Samantha Mueller faces the same challenges as most college sophomores, but time management is chief among them. Mueller, whose goal is to secure a career as a physical therapist, considers herself a very tech-savvy and visual learner. She finds online study suits her and allows her to prepare for class and quizzes in a complete and interactive way. Mueller lives off campus and her days are ‘pretty packed’—between exercise, attending classes on two separate FAU campuses, and working at a restaurant, finding time to succeed at everything can be Read More…


Instructor Frustrated with Tedious Administrative Chores Finds Relief with OWLv2

Houston Brown, a chemistry professor at the University of Houston–Downtown, often felt as if he was anything but a professor. Instead of spending the bulk of his time helping introductory and organic chemistry students better understand and comprehend difficult subject matter, Brown regularly found himself tending to a learning management system that laboriously soaked up his time and patience.

Besides Brown, students at UHD were demanding more from the platform that constituted twenty-percent of their grade. It’s one reason Brown was happy to switch to Cengage Learning’s OWLv2, a cloud-based learning system that provides chemistry students with a collection of study and test preparation tools designed to foster engagement and better grades.

One feature that helps Brown and his students focus more on what matters is the on-demand feedback OWLv2 provides students during homework assignments. Besides organizing and prioritizing assignments in visually appealing ways, OWLv2 allows students to identify in real time why exactly they answered a problem incorrectly. It also provides Brown with the analytics required to intervene immediately.
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OWLv2 is Key to Meaningful Homework and Better Student Engagement

If variety is the spice of life nowhere is that more evident than inside a university classroom where distractions abound and students can easily find other things to do rather than focus on lectures and concentrate on homework. “I want them to know the homework assignments aren’t just busy work,” said Steven Neal, an organic chemistry professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
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Instructors Search for Way to Create More Engaging Homework Assignments—and Find it with OWLv2

Larry Margerum, a general chemistry teacher at the University of San Francisco, is outnumbered in regard to the number of students he’s tasked with educating and motivating. It’s his job to lecture approximately five hundred students a year and to supplement those lessons with homework assignments that students find engaging and academically valuable. However, effectively reaching each of those students in a relatively large classroom setting can be difficult.

The problem, though, is one with which instructors have struggled for years; coaxing students into actually completing assignments that’ll prepare them for exams. Getting today’s student to engage deeply with pencil and paper homework is proving to be even more difficult. Plus, instructors say, traditional homework assignments are copied and turned in for points that artificially inflate academic performance. Instructors, according to Professor Margerum, understand the “drill and kill” homework system in place is not meeting the needs of today’s college students.
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OWL Motivates Chemistry Students to “Own” Their Learning

Teresa Bear has been teaching chemistry since 2007 at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. While conducting research for her dissertation in 2011 (on the use of interactive technology to improve student success), Teresa found that students who used technology performed better than those who didn’t use it. Not surprisingly, she forged the path for teaching with technology at the college. Today, that means using OWLv2 (Online Web Learning), the only online learning and assessment system developed by chemistry instructors specifically for teaching chemistry.
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Peer-to-Peer Learning: Tips from a Tutor Turned Author

It’s every professor’s dream to have a student learn a subject so well that he goes on to tutor his peers in it. To have him tutor so well that he publishes a study guide, though, is beyond imagination! That’s exactly what Michael Rosen did in 2008 as a student tutor at the University of Delaware. We spoke with him about his experiences leading up to writing The Guide to Surviving Chemistry, Second Edition.

Michael, what motivated you to make the jump from stellar general chemistry student to general chemistry tutor?

As a student, I understood how frustrating Read More…