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Flipped Chemistry Community Blog

Learning About Learning - While Trying to Improve Teaching

Over the years that my children were making their way through elementary school, I became the go-to science volunteer. Times were tough for the teachers as they were adapting to new science achievement testing. Many of my elementary school teacher friends were feeling the pain of not only having to beef up their own science content knowledge, but to also learning to teach science using active, inquiry methods. The days of opening the book and defining science vocabulary words were over!

What's the Best Way to Deliver Video Content?

This year, I’ve spent a huge amount of time developing video content for my classes. So far, I’ve done a tablet-only video style, using a skeletal PowerPoint presentation, which is annotated with a tablet as I narrate. This works well for presenting information cleanly and concisely - but it’s boring. I’m continuing to ponder how I can improve my format to be more engaging and effective.

Flipping Quantitative Analysis

Lecture format used to be the teaching standard. In fact, I became an educator because I loved to lecture! Like an artist/entertainer, I find great enjoyment formulating analogies, developing examples, and articulating concepts to a live audience. However, in the last 12 years, pedagogical research has forced me to question the lecture format, and technology has changed student-teacher interaction, assignments, course structure, textbooks, and dissemination of information. Teaching innovations are being introduced at an unprecedented rate.

Through the Storm: Chemistry Education at Union University

Marlyn Newhouse teaches Fundamentals of Chemistry and Physical Science at Union University in Jackson, TN. As I've learned more about Union over the years, I've come to admire their academic rigor, the strength of their undergraduate research program, and their clarity of purpose.

In February 2008, Union was hit by a devastating tornado that injured 86 people and caused major damage to 19 campus buildings. Amazingly, there were no fatalities.