TURKISH ONLINE JOURNAL OF DISTANCE EDUCATION, vol.4, no.3, pp.1-8, 2003 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)
In parallel with the technological advancements, teaching chemistry at a distance has recently become one of the greatest concerns of educators aiming equity for all students. Those in rural areas and many others lacking resources for learning chemistry are targeted in a number of projects of delivering chemistry courses out of site. Such reform movements, especially in undergraduate chemistry education in the U.S. have been supported through the National Science Foundation (NSF) to ensure the transformation and revitalization of the chemistry courses (Nally, 1999). However, instructional strategies used in the courses are as essential as a strong technological infrastructure and support, especially due to the experimental nature of the field. To be effective, the instructional strategies need to engage students as active participants, thus having interactive components (Simonson et al., 2003). This article reviews the research on chemistry education at a distance in a chronological order, and aims to illuminate the instructional strategies employed. The focus is on the significance of these instructional strategies, how they are employed, and the Internet component of the courses. Conclusions are made based on the fundamental issues of infrastructure, instructional strategies, and the essence of planning and organization in distance chemistry education.