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Chemical Sciences in Development

Current Activities: Chemistry Education

IOCD aims to strengthen education in the chemical sciences. We seek to reorient chemistry as a science for the benefit of society, through attention to education policy and practice. This includes participation in developing and disseminating knowledge and learning tools and encouraging their use by individuals, institutions and education systems around the world.
An IOCD action group on chemistry education was established in 2014. IOCD's recent publications (see here for examples) have emphasised the need for wide reforms in education content and practice to align the chemical sciences with changed contexts and with the challenges and priorities of the 21st century.
Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education
In the past, little attention has been given to the mainstreaming of systems thinking (ST) in chemistry education. This contrasts sharply with the situation in other sciences: for example, biology and engineering education have long embraced ST and there is now extensive literature on ST in these fields.
A paper in 2016 by IOCD's action group, Chemists for Sustainability on ‘one-world’ chemistry and systems thinking called for the adoption of systems thinking by chemistry, with the implication that this would require new education approaches. A project proposed by Peter Mahaffy (The Kings University, Edmonton) and Stephen Matlin (Secretary, IOCD) is been undertaken by IUPAC, with support from IOCD and runs 2017-2019. It aims to develop learning objectives, strategies and exemplars for infusing systems thinking into general chemistry education.
Distance Education in Chemistry
Open and distance learning (ODL) in chemistry provides a very flexible, cost-effective approach to delivering technical training, continuing education and high quality source materials that can be quickly, efficiently and cheaply up-dated to keep pace with advances in fast-developing field. IOCD scientists have developed a number of tools to support ODL.

Medicinal Chemistry Distance Training

Responding to the increasing demand for trained medicinal chemists in LMICs in the last few years, a medicinal chemistry distance training programme has been developed and piloted by leading authorities in medicinal chemistry at the University of Kansas, School of Pharmacy. This ODL resource includes four segments (Introduction, Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics, and Operational Stratagems) and progress through the course is aided by quizzes at short intervals in each section. The course has already been successfully piloted in web-based and CD ROM formats for widespread dissemination.
The IOCD Medicinal Chemistry Distance Training Project is run by Prof. Tom Prisinzano at the School of Pharmacy, University of Kansas.

Organic Chemistry Tutorials - Spanish

An IOCD group in the Faculty of Chemistry, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) led by Prof. Carlos Rius has established a series of web-based organic chemistry tutorials online in Spanish, including modules on structure, synthesis, stereochemistry and nomenclature.

Chemistry Education on the Web: the ChemCourse Suite

IOCD is developing a new web-based chemistry resource in the form of a suite of inter-connected elements called ChemCourse. These include chemistry virtual textbooks, courses and tutorials: a number of these have already been made available to IOCD and the collection of works is being extended. The ChemCourse project is being led by IOCD's Executive Director, Prof. Alain Krief.
Contacting IOCD's Action Group on Chemistry Education
Prof Alain Krief
Executive Director, IOCD
61 rue de Bruxelles
B-5000 Namur, Belgium

Tel: +32 81 724 548 (+ voice mail)
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