When I was first approached by my advisor about joining and assisting a small group of professors developing a unique online interactive platform to teach college level chemistry, I was strangely confident. I thought at the time that because I had already taken the general chemistry course, I was equipped with all the knowledge I needed to jump right back into this curriculum’s required mindset and assist. However, as soon as I was given my first task of familiarizing with the topic the group is currently working on, I realized the full extent of how much information I actually forget after just a one semester break. Now before I go on further about my catching up and tasks for this first week, let me clarify on what this online interactive platform actually is.
The venture that I am working on is called the Adapa Project. This project is an educational software program aimed to assist college students enrolled in difficult prerequisite science classes with the focus of teaching and reinforcing various difficult concepts taught in lecture classes through interactive videos, figures and tables, and explanations. More specifically, I am working on a module called Chembook that is catered to the college level 1 general chemistry course. Because Chembook is still in early development, there are several topics, videos, explanations, and sample questions that have yet to be completed and implemented. This is where I come in. My overall responsibility is to be able to work and research independently on creating content that will fill in missing parts of Chembook.
I have spent the majority of this week familiarizing myself with the different topics that will be worked on by this group. I have also researched different ways to teach difficult concepts to increase the effectiveness of the explanations. My goal beyond improving my own skills as a writer and researcher is to reach out and help as many students as I can with learning chemistry. I know how hard understanding this course is; I’ve already been there and done that. Although the struggle is most definitely real, I believe that with the right educational tool and the right type of interactive learning, this daunting course can be made easier for students transitioning into college life.