Self-study resources using the free WebCSD teaching subset

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Written by

Susan Henderson

Posted on

March 13, 2013

We at CCDC are keen advocates of the use of 3D structure to aid with the teaching of key chemical concepts.  Following a demo of WebCSD and existing teaching material intended for undergraduate teaching, Dr Peter Hoare at the University of Newcastle has been developing (with the help of A level and masters students) bite-size worksheets intended for A Level standard chemistry, making use of our free teaching subset and WebCSD.  Here, Peter's current MChem student Steve Carman explains a bit more about the exercises they have developed and how you can get your hands on them!

Hi all, We have been very busy up in the Toon (Newcastle) and developed a new range of resources for use with the WebCSD teaching subset. These are aimed at A Level (high school) and undergraduate students for use all over the world. Our aim is to get more than the 52000 (the capacity of St James’ Park) to trial and give feedback! ajetis_ceimpt.jpg CSD entries AJETIS and CEIMPT respectively which are used to illustrate the different 4-coordinate geometries a metal can adopt in the Shapes of Complexes worksheet. As you all know, many students struggle with visualising some of the key concepts in chemistry, this holds some students back.  The CCDC provide the free crystal structures, Dr Peter Hoare of Newcastle University provides his teaching knowledge and his outreach contacts and BOOM! Great new teaching resources using the WebCSD teaching subset explode into life. The teaching subset contains over 600 free crystal structures that can be viewed, measured and be seen in 3D. This allows the typical 2D study of chemistry to be brought to life, generating a greater understanding of geometries, structures, isomerism and bonding. This is the ideal tool for the younger generations who always liked to be plugged into something! maliac12_fumaac.gif Teaching subset entries and stereoisomers MALIAC12 and FUMAAC respectively, used in the E/Z stereoisomers teaching worksheet.
Our hope is that the resources are useful teaching aids for use at both post-16 school level and at undergraduate level. A handful of the activities have been written by year 12 chemistry students themselves, as part of Peter’s 4 week summer Nuffield Bursary projects which took place, in the not so sunny, August of last year. All of the other resources have been produced by myself between living the student life and watching Newcastle United play football. The resources already produced include topics such as stereochemistry (E/Z and optical isomerism), VSEPR, aromaticity/benzene, transition metal complexes, identifying organic functional groups and multiple bonding.
As Peter’s MChem student it is my role to trial and evaluate these resources, as well as developing new resources as part of my final year project. Our aim is to get the resources trialled by both students and teachers/lecturers in lessons, as revision aids, homework tasks or self-study resources. Any help trialling these learning aids would be of great help to us. Any data collected via my trials or the online questionnaire will allow further improvement, and will troubleshoot any problems. The aim is to have the exciting, interesting and useful resources developed before the official release in the latter half of 2013.
These resources are all available on a secure webpage, for log in/password details and further questions please contact or . For further information see the CCDC’s November 2012 newsletter. Cheers, Steve Carman


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