One of the early intentions of Computer Assisted Chemistry Tutorials
(CACT) was to provide computer Demonstrations, which could be
simulations of chemical principles, visulization of chemical concepts,
demonstrations of experiments, and illustrations of theories.
For simplicity, demonstrations were called Demos in the
DOS version of CACT. We implemented selected topics, each had a Demo
as an enhancement of our teaching. We did not intend to cover all the
lecture material or course content.
The personal computers' ability to display vivid graphics in color has
attracted many educators to write programs to demonstrate (Demos
for short) chemical concepts and theories. We have also written
a number such programs, which were organized for students to use in the
DOS version of CACT, first for students in the Chemistry programs, and
then for all freshman chemistry students.
|Demonstrations of term I
|Battery ||Galvanic cell simulation
|BondEL ||Chemical bond length and energy
|Conventn ||Conventions used in CACT
|EMWave ||Electromagnetic radiation wave
|HBond ||Electron density of H-H bonds
|Hybrid ||Hybrid atomic orbitals
|KinetGas ||Gas kinetics
|Limitn ||Limiting and excess reagents
|Molecule ||User controlled molecular display
|Orbital ||Electron density of atomic orbital
|PeriodTb ||Electronic periodic tabel
|PiBond ||Electronic density of pi-bonding
|QuantNum ||Quantum numbers
|Spectrum ||Simulation of spectrum
|TVP ||The ideal gas law
|VSEPR ||VSEPR and molecular shapes
The Demos used for the first term are listed in the Table here.
Most Demos were written by me, in the Quick Basic language.
The Demos were organized using the Menu like that
shown on the right. Each Demo had its own Instruction and
Dialogue. Few Demos were adopted from other sources, because
of copyright and difficulties in their integration into CACT.
Approximately the same number of Demos were written for the second term
freshman chemistry, but for brevity, they are not given here.
The drawback of the DOS version of CACT was that the Demo and its
Instruction could not appear on the same screen. This created some
inconvenience for students, because they had to copy down the points
in order to fully realize the benefit of the Demo. Having the
Instruction and its Demo on the same screen would have
been more convenient.
5.2 Loss of Demos in the Internet CACT
Because the Demos are written in Quiz Basic, they cannot be directly
implemented in the Internet documents. If they were hyper-linked on the
pages and the user clicks them, the users' computers will ask if they
want to download them onto their computers. Such an arrangement is not
practical for freshmen taking chemistry, and the Demos were not
included in the Internet CACT. Thus, the Demos ceased to function
in the Internet CACT, due to the change in technology. However, the Demos
can still be used during lectures in classrooms with computer display
It is possible to rewrite the Demos in Java applets or Java scripts.
However, due to time constraints, these have yet to be done.
5.3 Advantages of Internet CACT
Despite the loss of the Demos,
making CACT available on the Internet offers many advantages over the
Because computers are close to each other in our computer labs, we have
not included any sound tracks, nor have we included any video
demonstrations. These require much more effort to implement.
Special chemical terms can be
to related documents for further help.
Diagrams, illustrations, and animated demonstrations (such as the
ozone hole animation here) can be imbedded in the documents to make
them more interesting.
Audio files, video clips, Java Applets, and other presentations
can be hyperlinked or imbedded to make the documents multimedia.
Implementation of these features will, no doubt, be easier in
future generation of browsers.
The current html-type documents can easily be made to offer
pleasant and attractive presentations.
The browsers capability to search key words can be applied for
enquiry type of approach for students.
Key word searching is very useful for active learners, but most students
are passive learners.