How can you recognize an acid? Where do you assign charges to balance ionic compounds? What did I do wrong on problem 25? These are the standard kinds of questions all instructors face in introductory chemistry courses. But instructor Mitzy Erdmann, Ph.D., fields them in a unique way during office hours for her online Chemical Problem Solving (CH100) course in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry.
It’s kind of like a call-in show — for equations. Digital marker in hand, Erdmann sketches out the answers to practice problems on the Lightboard in the Digital Media Studio in UAB’s Hulsey Center. Her students, watching the broadcast live with GoToMeeting software, “can stop me and ask questions about the problem — or anything — through an earpiece I wear,” she says. Or they can type queries into a chat window, which are relayed to Erdmann by Digital Media’s Chris Humphries or Duncan McCrary.