Course Overview

In this course we will explore the use of the Open Access PhET Interactive Simulation software in chemistry teaching. Used by educators around the world, PhET simulations bring worthwhile technology-enabled teaching tools to the classroom. Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET simulations are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.
In this course, the participants will explore examples (and how to develop them) of how to incorporate active learning and simulations (online or offline) that can engage their learners in chemistry education. The participants will have the opportunity to meet and discuss challenges presented in chemistry education. Chemistry and pedagogy experts will guide participants through the development of PhET simulations.

Target audience

This course is open to anyone, anywhere, and is mobile-friendly. TCTMOOC has been designed to assist teachers, student teachers, teacher educators, and instructional designers to plan and develop a chemistry lesson and related assessments with technology. Chemistry teachers will benefit from the exploration tools, tactics, and strategies that expand their repertoire of chemistry teaching practice using technology.

Learning Outcomes

During this MOOC, you will:

  • Identify foundational elements of chemistry teaching,
  • Explore chemistry simulations and OER tools that support them,
  • Identify blended learning approaches for chemistry education,
  • Discuss strategies and tools for chemistry teaching with other teachers,
  • Develop a Chemistry Lesson Plan integrating technology for teaching and learning,
  • Evaluate a lesson plan using a pedagogical rubric.
Dr. Nathaniel Ostashewski

Week 1

  • 1.1  How online learning works and the Community of Inquiry (CoI); MOOC participant expectations.
  • 1.2  Science teaching philosophy (Scientific Method); What is TPACK and why you should care.
  • 1.3  OERs, Creative Commons licensing, and why they are important for teaching.

Week 2

  • 2.1  Active learning and simulations in Science Education.
  • 2.2  What is PhET and how does it work.
  • 2.3  How do teachers use PhET in Chemistry.

Week 3

  • 3.1  Blended learning for chemistry teaching.
  • 3.2  Other technology tools you can use in chemistry teaching (e.g., Chemsketch).
  • 3.3  Guidelines for evaluating PhET simulations in chemistry teaching.

Week 4

  • 4.1  Planning your own simulation lesson using PhET.
  • 4.2  Creating your chemistry simulation lesson plan and supporting student activities.
  • 4.3  Assessment for chemistry simulations.

Week 5

  • 5.1  Evaluating chemistry lesson plans.
  • 5.2  Reflections on teaching chemistry with TEL.