Session S39b (Tuesday, 2pm, Thomas 117)

P503: BestChoice: An evidenced-based approach to developing on-line pedagogy

Sheila Woodgate, David Titheridge (University of Auckland, New Zealand)

BestChoice is an open-access interactive website ( that was developed initially to support learning, including addressing common misconceptions, in large first-year chemistry classes at The University of Auckland in New Zealand.  BestChoice activities are innovative in their emphasis on teaching both concepts and problem-solving strategies. Interactions of students with the web-based system are guided in ways that are aimed at both probing and building upon their prior-knowledge to promote deeper understanding.  Hundreds of activities have been written, and these are used by tens of thousands of students in different countries and educational settings.  Each new activity authored incorporates pedagogical knowledge gained both by years of face-to-face teaching and by evaluation of student usage and survey data associated with existing activities.  The evidence-based approach used to develop methods for interactive delivery of content will be described as well as outcomes associated with use of activities concerned with electronegativity and molecular polarity.


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