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Online Chemistry Crossword Puzzles prior to and during COVID-19: Light-Hearted Revision Aids That Work





This work explores the performance of online postlecture chemistry crossword puzzles as revision aids for 132 first-year and 120 second-year undergraduate pharmacy students. The use of these puzzles as a form of remote active learning was fortuitously evaluated immediately prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic based on students’ online study behavior patterns, which captured some fascinating data on the frequency and timing of student online viewings. Students’ anonymous feedback responses were also evaluated. Across 24 individual crossword postings, student-tracking data showed a total of 17,717 views; equivalent to approximately three views per posting by each student across the two different year groups, with evidence of some similarities and differences to student study habits when forced to work remotely. Furthermore, questionnaire feedback showed that around 80% of second-year students found the crosswords helpful and would welcome more, yet just over 50% of first-year students held these views, illustrating some year group differences. Interestingly, all students had similar opinions regarding their preferred online delivery resources should COVID-19 continue to prevent on-campus teaching. In short, chemistry-themed online crossword puzzles were well-received when incorporated immediately prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. As many teaching institutions move away from a campus-based delivery, these effective and easy to prepare crossword revision aids should be considered by instructors alongside other online resources as they plan their teaching amidst continuing uncertainty.

Acceptance Date Jul 22, 2020
Publication Date Jul 22, 2020
Journal Journal of Chemical Education
Print ISSN 0021-9584
Publisher American Chemical Society
Pages 1394-3200
Keywords First-Year Undergraduate/General, Second-Year Undergraduate, Organic Chemistry, Humor/Puzzles/Games, Aromatic Compounds, Chirality/Optical Activity, Heterocycles, Molecular Properties/Structure, NMR Spectroscopy, Reactions
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