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Three Critical Conversations with Students

As I struggle with flipping the class and trying to get students to buy in, I often wonder what answers to give them as they express their concerns. I tell them it isn’t my job to “teach” but to provide them with meaningful learning opportunities. I came upon the following article which helps address the issue of how to handle students “complaints” when it comes to the flipped class:

Medicinal Chemistry for Pre-Health Students

As Chemistry faculty in a small private liberal arts college just miles from a medical school that ranks 22nd in the nation, I have noticed that 90% of my chemistry and biology majors are pre-health. When I accepted my position at BSC, I was asked to continue the Medicinal Chemistry course (CH418) within our department. Many traditional MedChem courses consist of in-depth analysis of various organic chemistry reaction mechanisms, sprinkled with a little discussion on drug targets, drug sources and pharmacokinetics.

Is that your final answer?

Last summer at BCCE, one of the speakers mentioned a simple peer-learning technique which intrigued me. In essence, the technique was this:

1. Ask a question, and get student responses.
2. Have students discuss the responses.
3. Ask the question again.

A couple of weeks ago in class, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to give it a try. We were introducing the concept of average atomic mass, and I posed this question:

A note from the physics classroom

  • Sunday, February 22, 2015

John Tompkins teaches physics at Southeastern University in Florida. After discovering the Flipped Chemistry community earlier this year, he decided to give it a shot in his physics classes. John writes:

Winter Break

Like many in the eastern half of the U.S., we've had classes cancelled this week because of the heavy snow and bitter cold. It's been a nice chance to get some rest and catch up on some big projects. Hope you're staying warm & safe.

Checking in on the Flipped Classroom Project at Marquette

Last November, I wrote about a planned project to test the efficacy of the flipped class in a side-by-side comparison of lecture and flipped courses in our General Chemistry program, which I called the Flipped Classroom Project at Marquette. Thus, this spring, I am teaching two sections of our General Chemistry 2 course, one in a traditional format (to 206 students at 8 am) and a second in a flipped format (to 117 students). The students self-selected into the courses, and essentially all had taken the first-semester ACS exam in the fall, therefore benchmarking their entry point.