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Campus authors - Workbooks in Chemistry

Workbooks in Chemistry OUP

Five academic staff from the Department of Chemistry have contributed to three new first year undergraduate workbooks in Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry, published by Oxford University Press on Thursday 16 February. Matthew Almond, Philippa Cranwell, Joanne Elliott, Elizabeth Page and Mark Spillman, together with ex-colleague, Mike Cook, now at the University of Hertfordshire, wrote the books aimed at chemistry undergraduates in their first years. All five staff are members of the Department’s Chemical Education group and have years of experience of teaching first year undergraduate chemists. 

“There is a real change of emphasis at HE compared to A level“ said Elizabeth Page. “At A level students are taught to remember facts to pass the exam whereas at University students in chemistry have to understand the concepts in order to apply them. There is too much information to remember!”

The workbooks differ from standard textbooks at this level in that they explain how to approach solving problems and highlight common errors and traps students fall in to. They are designed to help scaffold the transition to higher education where there is an increasing demand for independence. The books will be of interest to all students studying first year chemistry.

The Chemical Education Group was established in the Department of Chemistry in 2010 and includes 3 University Teaching Fellows and 2 National Teaching Fellows among its members. The group have worked together over the past 2 years to write these books based on the first year chemistry curriculum drawing on their experiences and knowledge of the challenges students face in specific areas of chemistry. One student quoted ” The text covers many of the areas that I have had problems with at A-level and at university level, making it very useful to students in the transition between the two.”

Elizabeth Page

Thursday 16 February 2017

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