Originally printed in Campus Technology 11/13/14

By Michael Hart

Oregon State University (OSU) is collaborating with a private partenr on a graduate-level course designed to help the students teach their own online laboratory science classes.

In the class, now offered online twice a year, students — most of whom teach online lab science classes themselves — work with a number of content delivery modes that include but are not limited to virtual labs, lab packs, kitchen science, data mining and field work, evaluating for themselves how the different modes work for the courses they teach.

eScience Labs, a company that provides customizable lab kits for online lab science courses at the university level, supplies lab kits, a set of hands-on experiments and curricular materials for the OSU courses titled “Instruments and Online Interactions in the Sciences.” The lab kits can be customized so that the students in the course can use them in the courses they teach themselves.  Read more…

Alexandra Carlton is a student at the University of Southern California who recently completed the CH 331/332/337 online Organic chemistry series with OSU. She has been accepted to Bastyr Naturopathic Medical School this fall to study Naturopathic Medicine, a field she is passionate about. Alexandra says—

My vision as a naturopathic doctor is to help people live a positive balanced healthy lifestyle, educate people about their own health, cure ailments, and possibly save a life.

Alexandra has worked very hard to reach her goal; she took the Organic chemistry series online because she was not able to work it into her schedule at USC. But she points out that online Organic chemistry is not easy. Her advice to other students:

Make sure to stay on top of your work and have good time management skills.  Also, get a tutor if you need it because it is one of the hardest undergraduate courses out there.  If you are taking the hybrid CH 337 organic chemistry lab class, make sure you complete and do everything the first two weeks that the online class asks you to do, because when you get to the on campus 2 week portion, it is very fast paced, so you definitely have to be prepared!

When we asked Alexandra how she found OSU’s online chemistry, she mentioned that she found it online, and that OSU’s Organic Chemistry was the only online organic class her medical school would accept. That fact says a lot about our great instructors here at Oregon State! Her school also likes our series because the final class, CH 337, is a hybrid class with 2 weeks of online study, then 2 weeks of on-campus lab work in Corvallis.

Best wishes to Alexandra for her continued success in medical school, and thanks to her for sharing her story.

CH 582, Chemistry and Materials of Batteries and Super Capacitors.  Students will learn about the current as well as developing technologies in this exciting field.

CH 584, Instruments and Online Interactions in the Sciences.   This class is offered jointly with the College of Education and is intended for those planning to be teachers.

Both are 3 credit classes and are offered Fall term; contact kim.thackray@oregonstate.edu for more information or check out the Fall Schedule.

CH 584 (3 credits)

Using Instruments and Online Interactions for Instructional Laboratory Experiments in the Sciences

Summer Session 2, June 23-July 18th, 2014



Dr. Michael M. Lerner and

Dr. Richard L. Nafshun

Department of Chemistry, College of Science, OSU





Dr. Matt Nyman

Science/Math Education Program, College of Education, OSU




Who should take this course?

  • Graduate students in STEM fields
  • Current elementary/middle school/high school teachers wanting to add to their technical skills concerning labs and/or needing continuing education credits
  • Current community college and university level instructors
  • Free choice learning instructors

Students will learn about the availability and implementation of lab packs, virtual instruments and “kitchen science” online activities for use in their instructional setting.  Through hands-on exposure to the various methods of lab delivery, students will evaluate efficacy for their own teaching and learning practice. Working collaboratively with others, students will design lessons and units of instruction appropriate to their grade level of interest. These lessons will integrate learning with virtual instruments and online interactions to help learners grasp, visualize, and explain important science and math concepts and practices.

Student activities will be linked to state and national standards appropriate for their educational setting (e.g., for K-12 teachers Math Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards and the National Educational Technology Standards).


For further information, please contact one of the instructors or:

Kim Thackray

OSU Chemistry online coordinator


Chemistry online?  How is that possible?  More and more students are finding that taking an OSU Chemistry class online is not only possible, but is a great way to meet the requirements of their degree program in a way that fits well in their life.

During the 2012/2013 academic year, students took more than 6600 credit hours of Chemistry classes online, second only to the Fisheries and Wildlife department in number of student credit hours.  Most terms, about 12 classes are offered, including 2 different series of General Chemistry and the complete Organic Chemistry series.  The CH 121/122/123 series is completely online, with the labs provided by OnLineChemLabs.  For the higher level classes, the labs are offered in a condensed format that make it easy for distance students to travel to campus for a short time (like a 3 day weekend) to complete their requirements.

Who are our students?  Our online instructors have students from all over the world, including students in the military in Afghanistan.  Our students include working people that want to complete their degrees, spouses of military personnel, stay-at-home parents, and many others.  Some on campus OSU students have found that taking their chemistry online fits well in their schedule as well.

If you are interested in learning more about online chemistry here at OSU, please check out our website, or email Kim Thackray at kim.thackray@oregonstate.edu.