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Online Chemistry Support Clinics

Project leader(s): 
Nick Chatterton and Elaine Moore
Faculty: 
STEM
Status: 
Archived

The “Chemistry Clinics”, now re-named as “Getting Ready for….”, were initially designed to enhance retention and progression in the second-year chemistry module, S215. This was felt to be particularly important as chemistry, perhaps like mathematics, is a subject where “fluency” in basic skills is essential for successful study at more advanced levels. In addition, we aimed to distil key chemical ideas out of feeder modules, such as S104, to ensure the readiness of the students.

The first presentation was in the month prior to 16J presentation of S215. The structure of the clinics involved the students working through a series of structured problems, based on areas covered in the S215 “Are you ready for…” quiz, along with worked answers. These questions and answers were sub-divided into five sections: The Atom, Compounds, Calculations, Energy and Organic. Relevant external links from highly regarded websites such as The Khan Academy and Tyler DeWitt were provided for each of the sections to help the students with the problems. Additionally, support was provided via a tutor supported forum and via bookable one-to-one OU Live sessions with a tutor or a member of central academic staff.

Student uptake was reasonably good with over 150 students, around 70% of the enrolled S215 students, visiting the site in the month prior to the S215 start date.

Around 20, one-to-one sessions were run, with several students attending on multiple occasions.

The effect on module retention and progression is harder to assess as several other modifications were also made during the 16J presentation of S215, such as the introduction of assessment week breaks.

The clinics received excellent student feedback on the website forum and were specifically mentioned in the S215 16J SeAM report.

Related documents

Chatterton, N. (2020) Online Chemistry Clinics. eSTEeM Final Report (PDF)

Nick Chatterton and Elaine Moore poster