Virtual computational chemistry teaching laboratories – hands-on at a distance

09 August 2021, Version 3


The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted chemistry teaching practices globally as many courses were forced online necessitating adaptation to the digital platform. The biggest impact was to the practical component of the chemistry curriculum – the so-called wet lab. Naively, it would be thought that computer-based teaching labs would have little problem in making the move. However, this is not the case as there are many unrecognised differences between delivering computer-based teaching in-person and virtually: software issues, technology and classroom management. Consequently, relatively few “hands-on” computational chemistry teaching laboratories are delivered online. In this paper we describe these issues in more detail and how they can be addressed, drawing on our experience in delivering a third-year computational chemistry course as well as remote hands-on workshops for the Virtual Winter School on Computational Chemistry and the European BIG-MAP project.


remote learning
computational chemistry
virtual laboratories
hands-on workshops
materials science


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