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My daughter loaded up the Toyota and left for college this week. I could have sworn I took this picture sometime last summer. I hope and pray she will have a great college experience.
Anyway, here's a "thank you" to all of you who put in long hours to make your classes great, and who go out of your way to help your students along. I hope you have a wonderful semester.
What are student satisfaction surveys really telling us?
Early in my professional career, I knew that I wanted an active-learning classroom, loosely aligned with the Problem-Based Learning (PBL), Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), and Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) domains. I worked in as many group-based board problems as possible, and spent about one day per chapter on problem-solving workshops. However, this came at a price: To carve out this time, I found myself rushing through the lecture topics, and students were only occasionally completing the more challenging problems in each workshop.
This week at BCCE I learned about a new NSF-sponsored initiative called Organic Educational Resources, which is essentially a curated, shared resources site much like our own Flipped Chemistry Tools & Resources section. On the organicERs website, professors can share their own materials (tests, questions, assignments, etc.) as well as draw on materials from others. It looks like a great resource for test questions.
This past semester, I taught a three-credit, standalone laboratory course – Organic Laboratory II. The class meets once a week, for five hours. One of the biggest challenges for this course has been optimizing the pre-lab discussions. If we talk about lab a week beforehand, students often forget the key details by the time the lab arrives. On the other hand, if I we discuss immediately before lab, students tend to be much less prepared. Either way, they spend far too much time figuring out what’s going on.
To be the most effective in teaching chemistry to the present generation, an educator is best served by providing the resources learners need in the manner that is most familiar to them. For the chemistry course that I teach, Allied Health General, Organic, and Biochemistry, I am quite convinced that the flipped format serves the students best. Today’s students have been raised in and surrounded by technology that permeates EVERY aspect of their lives. This, I believe is where educators will most easily connect with students.