Our research in chemical education falls into two categories: instructional materials development and program development. Some projects involve both.
CPR is a comprehensive, web-delivered instructional tool, which not only promotes student understanding through writing but also develops student critical thinking skills through the process of evaluation and reviewing. Because the program is web-delivered, computer-managed and uses peer review, instructors can use the CPR program with any class size; students can do their assignments wherever they have web access; and administrators do not need to provide additional teaching resources for grading. In a CPR assignment students write an essay about a topic chosen by the instructor; they are then trained to review essays on this topic; they then anonymously evaluate three peer essays and finally assess their own essays in light of what they have learned from their training and their peer's essays.History of CPR Use Research on CPR
Preparing Future Faculty
Preparing graduate students for the tri-partite teaching, research, and service responsibilities of faculty is an important goal of graduate chemistry education. The objective of our seminar and research in this area is to provide our postdoctoral and graduate students with the most relevant knowledge and skills for them to be successful in their job searches and their academic careers tenure process no matter what the balance between teaching and research in their chosen institution. The program is open to science graduate student or postdoctoral fellow who is considering a career in academics.
Chemistry 272G - Issues in Teaching in Higher Education
California Chemistry Diagnostic Test Project (CDTP)
This California project, which is composed of faculty from all three segments of higher education and high schools has set a standard for diagnostic assessment for Chemistry. A well designed assessment instrument must be both valid and reliable. CDTP is committed to the rational, rigorous and careful design of tests that can diagnose students' preparation for a traditional general chemistry course in college. The exams developed by this committee are distributed nationally by the ACS Division of Chemical Education Examinations Institute. The exams have been approved for use in the California Community College system by the Chancellor's office. The tests have served as a framework for research in assessment at UCLA and other institutions.
Laboratory Practice and Materials Development
Our General Chemistry program is continually developing new inquiry-based laboratory assignments that foster critical thinking skills as they introduce students to the process of how chemistry is known. We are particularly interested in developing assignments where there is no "right" answer either because the chemistry is unknown or the samples being analyzed are "authentic." Student data from these assignments often become the basis for publications
Science Teacher Education Program
California has an urgent and critical need for highly qualified science and math middle and secondary school teachers. At UCLA we have created two programs to support and assist science and math majors explore teaching careers and begin their credential work while they are still undergraduates. UCLA California Teach, offers opportunities for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to participate in a three-sequence set of service learning courses. The seminars, which are led by exemplary practicing teachers, are complimented with field experiences in local schools. Students who decide as juniors or seniors that they would like to explore and/or pursue teaching careers may join the Science Teacher Education Program (STEP). In this joint L&S/GSEIS program, students begin their credential work as seniors, finish the credential in the summer, and complete the M.Ed, while teaching in a UCLA partner school during the following year.
"Web-Based Student Writing and Reviewing Performance in a Large Biology Course" R. Dean Gerdeman, Arlene A. Russell, Kelly J. Worden, Journal of College Science Teaching 36 46-53 (2007)
"A New Inexpensive Kinetic Study: The Reaction of Erythocin B Sodium (Red FD&C #3) with Hypochlorite" Maher M. Henary and Arlene A. Russell, Journal of Chemical Education 84, 480-482 (2007)
"A Course to Prepare Future Faculty in Chemistry: Perspectives from Former Participants at a Research University" R. Dean Gerdeman, Arlene A. Russell, Rebecca A. Eikey, Journal of Chemical Education 84 285-291 (2007)
"Calibrated Peer ReviewTM - A Writing and Critical Thinking Instructional Tool" Arlene A. Russell Book Chapter About Invention and Impact: Building Excellence in Undergraduate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education AAAS January 2005
"Perceptual Learning Modules in Mathematics and Science Instruction" Joseph A. Wise, Tate Kubose, Norma Chang, Arlene Russell, Philip J. Kellman, Proceedings of TechED 2000, 169-176 (March 2000)
"A Simple 2+2 Photocycloaddition That Poses an Interesting NMR Problem" J. Magner, M. Selke, A. A. Russell, O.L. Chapman, Journal of Chemical Education, 73, 854 - 856, (1996)
"A Rationally Designed General Chemistry Diagnostic Test," Arlene A. Russell, Journal of Chemical Education, 71, 314 - 317, (1994)
"Structure, Chirality, and FT-NMR in Sophomore Organic Chemistry," O.L. Chapman and A. A. Russell, Journal of Chemical Education 69, 779-782, (1992)
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Box 951569 (post)
607 Charles E. Young Drive East (courier)
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1569