Aquatic Chemistry is the MIT Course 1.76, which was taught back in the fall 2005. This is a graduate course that explains the chemical processes that take place in aquatic systems.
Type of Material:
The site is a collection of pdf files such as problem sets, practice exam, answered practice exam, and assorted study materials.
A professor could use this site as an example of how to teach and organize a new course in aquatic chemistry. A student looking for example of problems will also find the site useful. The site is so organized that a disciplined person could use the materials available (along with the book required) and teach themselves aquatic chemistry.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
A graduate level student of water chemistry will gain a deeper understanding of equilibrium concepts and applications to water chemistry.
Target Student Population:
Graduate students of hydrology and/or oceanography will use this course material.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Thorough grounding in analytical chemistry and thermodynamics of solutions is required.
The course site is very organized and there are six (6) problem sets available which are set in the calendar, so anyone will know the material needed for each problem set. There are also other study materials given during class as supplemental material, and eventhough some are handwritten, they are still very organized and easy to read.
The content does not provide solutions to problem sets. There are 'corrections' to pdf files, where the latter are merely scans of handwritten equations that provide no explanations.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The site can be used by professors teaching an aquatics chemistry class for the first time and looking for guidance or by graduate students to learn the concepts discussed in class and find extra problems. It could be used by a person wanting to teach themselves aquatic chemistry as long as they follow the materials and buy the required book. The entirety of the auxiliary readings in their own right will thoroughly educate the motivated student.
Class notes or presentation slides would have made this site even more useful. Adding the answers to the problem sessions would be handy too. There is no exacting statement of the learning objectives. One must take for granted that by the time the student has worked their way through all of the readings and auxiliary material they will have mastered the material.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Although this is by no means a flashy site and it does not have any interactive media, the site is very well organized and all materials are present. There is also supplemental material that offers needed knowledge or goes more in depth on what the topic covered in class.
THere is heavy reliance on external readings, there are no 'traditional' class notes. PDF files presented are scans of relatively poor handwriting giving equations without any context.
Other Issues and Comments:
There are really no 'explanatory' lectures either by video, reference, or online notes. This is not really a course that would provide any value to the student unless they meticulously worked through the external readings.
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