Learning Computational Chemistry via the Internet

B. J. Salter-Duke, M. G. Wong, E. J. Lloyd, B. F. Yates, G. J. Cross


Chemistry, and in particular computational chemistry and molecular modeling, is well suited for learning over the Internet using the World Wide Web augmented by other Internet tools. We have developed a series of learning modules which are now used for teaching a Masters degree in computational chemistry offered by three Australian universities in distance education mode over the Internet as well as being used in modified form for final year and Honours year courses. Two techniques play a key role in allowing the student a hands-on flexible approach. Web forms allow access to a variety of computational codes allowing students to run their own data without having to have the code on their own machine and in a more user-friendly fashion than standard batch mode. Web helper applications and plug-ins such as Rasmol and Chime allow students to investigate molecular structures in ways that they, not the instructor, determine. These developments will be discussed along with pointers to extending these approaches to other areas of chemistry.

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