Title

Active Learning in Organic Chemistry

Streaming Media

Submission Type

Hands-on Workshop

Abstract

Students planning to pursue careers in health professions are required to take two semesters of organic chemistry. The high cognitive load of this course challenges students, often leading to frustration. Active learning methods can ease student frustration by encouraging students to use multiple modalities to make sense of new information. We use blended learning in organic chemistry to make time for active learning pedagogies and increase student learning. This takes multiple forms in our classrooms. Approaches include Just-in-Time Teaching with warm-up activities, in-class guided inquiry activities, and response systems.

Students access the warm-up activities through the course management systems used on our campuses. We incorporate EasyOChem (Moodle question type) or OpenOChem, an open-source system (currently under development) that allows instructors to assign questions which students answer by drawing chemical structures. To incentivize participation a small percentage of the course grade is based on students’ completion of these activities. Due to their pre-class preparation, students are prepared to reach a deeper level of understanding of material during class meeting times.

Since students are equipped with practiced background knowledge, in class time is used to further refine principles and to develop new concepts. Some in-class activities include the use of Bucholtz’ Foundations of Organic Chemistry, an inexpensive workbook that implements a constructivist framework and provides relevance for chemical concepts through Who Gives a Darn? application questions. Students work in teams to solve problems and answer questions during class, discussing terms and questions as they struggle to develop and understand concepts. To ascertain if students are answering questions correctly, students are challenged with similar questions based on the activity materials through various response systems such as Nearpod, Poll Everywhere, and EasyOChem. One of the benefits of these systems is that they provide students an opportunity to practice interconversions of 2-D representations of 3-D structural data.

The goal of this workshop is to provide you with an opportunity to explore how blended learning is effective in motivating students to prepare for each classroom activity, requiring students to apply prior knowledge, and improving their thinking processes. You will use some of the online tools and classroom activities we have developed. We will share the change in students’ behaviors that we have observed such as increased motivation, preparation, interest in understanding key concepts, and ability to solve real application problems.

Session

Presentation

Location

Thomas 110

Start Date

5-18-2017 10:40 AM

End Date

5-18-2017 12:00 PM

 
May 18th, 10:40 AM May 18th, 12:00 PM

Active Learning in Organic Chemistry

Thomas 110

Students planning to pursue careers in health professions are required to take two semesters of organic chemistry. The high cognitive load of this course challenges students, often leading to frustration. Active learning methods can ease student frustration by encouraging students to use multiple modalities to make sense of new information. We use blended learning in organic chemistry to make time for active learning pedagogies and increase student learning. This takes multiple forms in our classrooms. Approaches include Just-in-Time Teaching with warm-up activities, in-class guided inquiry activities, and response systems.

Students access the warm-up activities through the course management systems used on our campuses. We incorporate EasyOChem (Moodle question type) or OpenOChem, an open-source system (currently under development) that allows instructors to assign questions which students answer by drawing chemical structures. To incentivize participation a small percentage of the course grade is based on students’ completion of these activities. Due to their pre-class preparation, students are prepared to reach a deeper level of understanding of material during class meeting times.

Since students are equipped with practiced background knowledge, in class time is used to further refine principles and to develop new concepts. Some in-class activities include the use of Bucholtz’ Foundations of Organic Chemistry, an inexpensive workbook that implements a constructivist framework and provides relevance for chemical concepts through Who Gives a Darn? application questions. Students work in teams to solve problems and answer questions during class, discussing terms and questions as they struggle to develop and understand concepts. To ascertain if students are answering questions correctly, students are challenged with similar questions based on the activity materials through various response systems such as Nearpod, Poll Everywhere, and EasyOChem. One of the benefits of these systems is that they provide students an opportunity to practice interconversions of 2-D representations of 3-D structural data.

The goal of this workshop is to provide you with an opportunity to explore how blended learning is effective in motivating students to prepare for each classroom activity, requiring students to apply prior knowledge, and improving their thinking processes. You will use some of the online tools and classroom activities we have developed. We will share the change in students’ behaviors that we have observed such as increased motivation, preparation, interest in understanding key concepts, and ability to solve real application problems.