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Flipped Chemistry Community Blog

The LiveScribe Pen in a Flipped/Hybrid Course

LiveScribe is a digitized pen-and-paper system that records both voice and pen strokes. You need special dot matrix paper, which can be purchased when you buy the pen. My typical use for this is after we work problems in class, I can go back to my office and provide narrated solutions to the problems. The “recordings” are saved as PDF’s or can be uploaded to the LiveScribe website. The advantages to this are the pencasts, as they are called, are quick and easy to make.

In Defense of the Flip

It's that time of the year again where the turkey has been roasted, eaten, sandwiched, casseroled, and sworn off till next year (or next month for some); and if you are in academia you are now preparing for final exams and course/instructor assessment. It was just earlier this week that I passed out our standard institutional assessment forms to my first flipped biochemistry course and because I wanted to gauge the various blended learning techniques I employed over the semester, I added my own additional assessment.

SpongeBob, the Conjugate Base

This week, I've been working on the acid-base chapter for my upcoming intro chem book, and thinking about the class format for next semester. Students sometimes struggle with the idea that the acid & conjugate base are the same compound, with or without a proton. I specifically remember not understanding this as a freshman. So I did a little clip-art magic, and came up with the following question:

1.) In the reaction below, SpongeBob is the acid and Patrick is the base. Can you draw the products from this reaction?

Collaboration and Documentation of In-class Group Work using SyncSpace

Experimenting with a “flipped” classroom has generated unique challenges. Because lecture time has been reduced, there is now time to try new activities, perform demonstrations, encourage group learning, conduct short in-class experiments, and provide one-on-one assistance on occasion. However, despite these opportunities, it has been difficult choosing what is best. Currently, freed in-class time has been spent simply coordinating group activities.

SoftChalk in Flipped/Hybrid General Chemistry

I began using SoftChalk (www.SoftChalk.com) in my hybrid General Chemistry classes about 5 years ago. SoftChalk is a way to “create custom lessons by combining your own materials with interactive learning content. The mixture of personalized content, embedded assessment, and interactivity will increase student engagement and improve learning outcomes.” SoftChalk activities include sorting, crossword puzzles, drag n’ drop, labeling, flash cards, jig saw puzzles among many others.

The Flipped Classroom Project at Marquette

About one year ago, I heard Gabriela Weaver present the results of a detailed study on the use of the flipped classroom in the majors chemistry course at Purdue. The course had been taught in the traditional format in fall, moving to the flipped format in spring with a different instructor, and the results overall were impressive.

Advertising a Flipped Course

Dr. Scott Reid is chair of the Chemistry Department at Marquette University. This past fall, he advertised a class ahead of time as a flipped class (see image below). Scott writes: