situation, because it affects large numbers of students and because larger courses are becoming increasingly common.

Thiel also noted the timeliness of this workshop given the announcement by the National Science Foundation (NSF) of a new program, Widening Implementation and Demonstration of Evidence-Based Reforms (WIDER),2 which was released in the weeks leading up to the workshop. She acknowledged, too, that “there are different perspectives and controversies about almost every aspect of chemistry education. This meeting is not meant to cover every topic or every viewpoint or to represent every constituency but rather it is designed to help stimulate awareness and discussion.”


This summary is organized into five chapters that are aligned with the major themes and goals of the workshop. Chapter 2 summarizes discussions on the drivers of change and the metrics used to identify the need for change in undergraduate chemistry education. The chapter begins with a broad look at the state of science in the United States and ends with drivers and lessons learned specific to chemistry education.

Chapter 3 describes innovative approaches to education reform, including key components and barriers to transforming large-scale undergraduate chemistry courses. Throughout the chapter, approaches and challenges with assessing the effectiveness of reforms is also discussed.

Chapter 4 describes the perspectives of four industry panelists on the state of undergraduate chemistry education and whether there is a need for change.

The final chapter recaps the final workshop panel discussion of five chemistry department chairs. The panel offered their insights and impressions on the state of undergraduate chemistry education, the types of innovations presented during the course of the workshop, and barriers encountered in trying to introduce novel instructional methods into the chemistry curricula at their institutions.

Although not comprehensive, this summary provides the readers with the key topics addressed during the workshop:

•   Drivers of and barriers to change in chemistry education,

•   Innovative course design for large-enrollment chemistry courses,

•   Assessment tools needed to better evaluate the effect of novel course designs on chemistry learning,

•   Industry and academic perspectives on the need for undergraduate chemistry education reform, and

•   Potential next steps to more broadly disseminate innovative and effective chemistry course designs.

This publication is a factual summary of the presentations and discussions at the workshop. The views contained in the summary are those of the individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all the workshop participants, the organizing committee, or the National Research Council. The summary does not contain any findings or recommendations about needs and future directions, but focuses instead on issues identified by the speakers and workshop participants.


2 The WIDER program is overseen by NSF’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education;

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