2020 Lekhi

Project Title Development of an Open Online Resource for One Topic in Aqueous Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 301)
Principal Investigator Anka Lekhi
Faculty Science
Funding Year 2019/20
Project Summary

Aqueous Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 301) is a high enrolment, case-based, elective course taken by students from various programs, including: Combined Major in Science, Chemistry Major, Environmental Science, and Engineering. Topics in CHEM 301 include: Water Pollution, Water Treatment, CO2 System, Acid Mine Drainage and pH/Redox Equilibria. In 2019W, 141 students were enrolled in the course.

The diversity in student academic backgrounds has made it challenging to find an appropriate textbook to accommodate the needs of students and that aligns well with the course learning objectives. Environmental textbooks are generally too light on the chemistry while Chemistry textbooks are generally too advanced.

Moreover, many of the cases studied using a Team-based Learning (TBL) approach in the course are interdisciplinary, current, and evolving which makes a traditional textbook unfit for the course. Presently, there is no required textbook for CHEM 301 but there are required pre- readings drawn from two different websites and four different textbooks, which are available to students for free through UBC library online course reserves. While it is advantageous that there is no cost to students, limitations of this set-up have been identified by instructors (pre-readings still require heavy supplementation through lecturing and there is a lack of cohesion with using multiple sources) and by students (lack of details or too much detail lead to confusion).

The prerequisite for CHEM 301 is first-year chemistry and while many students’ prior knowledge exceeds the required prerequisite; many students’ prior knowledge is insufficient. Student learning would greatly benefit from a customized, cohesive, and current resource that incorporates review material and aligns with course objectives.

This project is to create and evaluate a draft of one CHEM 301 topic (Redox Equilibria) as an online resource complete with embedded videos and images which will be openly available via Pressbooks Publishing. If this resource is perceived to be effective and useful by students and faculty, then we will secure support from other sources to create and evaluate online resources for all CHEM 301 topics. The resource developed in this project will subsequently be incorporated as a chapter in the larger resource.

Grant type Rapid Innovation
Funded Amount $995