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American Chemical Society The evolving landscape of chemistry education Richard W. Schwenz Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Northern.

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Presentation on theme: "American Chemical Society The evolving landscape of chemistry education Richard W. Schwenz Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Northern."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Chemical Society The evolving landscape of chemistry education Richard W. Schwenz Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO BCCE Symposium on The Evolution of the ACS Approval Process: Moving beyond the 2008 Guidelines July 31, 2012

2 Who is CPT? American Chemical Society 2 Members Anne B. McCoy (Chair), THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY Ron C. Estler (Vice Chair), FORT LEWIS COLLEGE Edgar A. Arriaga, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA-TWIN CITIES Ronald Brisbois, MACALESTER COLLEGE Ron W. Darbeau, MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY Joseph S. Francisco, PURDUE UNIVERSITY Suzanne Harris, UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING Scott C. Hartsel, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-EAU CLAIRE Bob A. Howell, CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY Laura L. Kosbar, IBM T.J. WATSON RESEARCH CENTER Clark R. Landis, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON Cynthia K. Larive, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE Lee Y. Park, WILLIAMS COLLEGE Richard W. Schwenz, UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO Thomas J. Wenzel, BATES COLLEGE Secretary Cathy A. Nelson (Committee Secretary), ACS Consultants John W. Kozarich, ACTIVX BIOSCIENCES Joel I. Shulman, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI George S. Wilson, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

3 What program factors are evaluated by CPT? Curriculum Faculty Facilities Funding / Support Instrumentation American Chemical Society 3

4 Which areas are likely to change in undergraduate chemistry? American Chemical Society 4 Curriculum Content Pedagogy Faculty Facilities Funding / Support Instrumentation

5 What defines the curricular content? American Chemical Society 5 The content areas ABIOP, and fundamental and in-depth (advanced) courses Interdisciplinary areas Chemical physics, materials chemistry, nanoscience, chemical biology, forensic science Laboratory 400 hours spread between foundational and in depth experiences, hands-on laboratory covering 4 of the 5 areas, and which can include undergraduate research

6 How might the pedagogy change? Our knowledge of student learning practices is increasing –Constructivism (students constructing their own learning in their minds, rather than the blank slate model) –Active learning is now the prevalent model for an appropriate pedagogy (not what I’m doing right now) Online delivery of classes –Cost efficiencies (?) –Pro’s and con’s –Transferability American Chemical Society 6

7 Examining the pedagogy The place of laboratory and its focus –In a rigorous formal laboratory course sequence, students should progressively develop effective and safe chemical laboratory skills that require use of the methods and instrumentation of modern chemistry, start with simple stepwise manipulations performed according to a prescribed sequence, but progress to activities that require decision-making about appropriate experimental design and data interpretation/analysis required to answer specific chemical questions, produce organized, concise, and coherent descriptions and analysis of their experimental work through written and oral reports to which faculty provide detailed feedback. –Inquiry versus technique versus verification –Online / distance delivery of laboratory –Instrumentation / Computer / On-site vs. not The place of process versus content coverage American Chemical Society 7

8 Changes in the student body By 1940, there were 65 approved programs. Today there are 667! But also compare these student numbers to the number of bachelor’s chemists in China (30,000 per year) American Chemical Society 8 What is then the value of the ACS certified degree? To whom?

9 The student body Demographics –More students (baby boom) 2 –As of 2012, a majority of births are minorities –Immigrant population, LAUSD has 70 languages in 1 high school –Far more transfer students (especially from CC’s) because of $$$$ Available technology (laptops, tablets, iPods, smart phones) –Phones as clickers –In – class searching Books –E – books, rental of books “MTV – style” information delivery –Flash, repeat, move-on, etc. American Chemical Society 9

10 Changes in chemistry content American Chemical Society 10 The 2008 revision was done in part to allow greater innovation in the structure of the curriculum –Have you modified your curriculum since 2008? Inclusion of biochemistry in 1999 guidelines revision Interdisciplinary focus of most research Research is not the individual investigator model any longer

11 Faculty What constitutes a faculty member? –Tenure / tenure-track, full time non-tenure track, part-time, graduate TA’s, instructional responsibility (lecture, laboratory, combination, …) We don’t look at the demographics of the faculty in terms of age, but we do in terms of interests / areas of concentration / teaching loads Professional development (sabbaticals, attending meetings, workshops) Do we want all faculty members to look like this? CPT survey results American Chemical Society 11 Non-tenure-track faculty play a significant role in both classroom and laboratory teaching in all of these courses. In both the introductory and organic courses in which a chemistry major might enroll, non-tenure track faculty contribute most to laboratory teaching. In lecture, tenure-track faculty account for the majority of contact hours, but non-tenure-track faculty (particularly LT/FT faculty at PhD-granting institutions) account for a significant proportion of these contact hours. While overall, at all types of institutions, about 70% of students in the introductory course see tenure-track faculty in lecture, at public PhD-granting institutions nearly 40% of students in this course see LT/FT faculty and over 15% see temporary or part-time faculty. The overall percentage of students who see tenure-track faculty in lecture increases to over 80% in the introductory organic course, but about 25% of students in this course at PhD-granting institutions see LT/FT faculty.

12 Facilities Size of the lecture –Cost efficiency versus learning efficiency Size of the instructional laboratories –Safety is a concern –Laboratory class size versus space –Stockroom Instrumentation –At present, a functioning NMR is required –At least one instrument from a number of categories –Students must have hands-on access Library –Journal holdings / inter-library loan / on-line access American Chemical Society 12

13 Financial issues Funding issues for higher education – C&EN, July 2 nd issue State-supported institutions Decreasing state support, resulting in increasing tuition, and increasing financial aid Private institutions Increasing tuitions Net result is more student debt on graduation Greater number of part – time students Greater number of transfer / community college students

14 Questions for Discussions - 1 Faculty and staffing: –How would you define “faculty” for the purposes of the guidelines? What characteristics distinguish these individuals from “instructional staff” or “lecturers”? –Presently the guidelines state that the "maximum number of contact hours in classroom and in laboratory instruction for faculty and instructional staff must not exceed 15 total hours per week. To accommodate occasional fluctuations in instructional responsibilities, up to two individuals may have as many as 17 contact hours in one semester or quarter, provided that the average for each individual during the academic year does not exceed 15 contact hours per week." Are fifteen contact hours, and this extent of flexibility appropriate? –If different numbers were used for maximum contact hours for faculty and for other individuals who deliver the curriculum, what would be appropriate contact hour limits for these two groups? Would these numbers be different if you consider the best interests of your program and when you consider practical limitations (e.g. College policies)? Should flexibility be retained? –What is the minimum number and type of support staff you would need to run your department. If such staffing is not available, how are faculty compensated for the time required for them to perform the activities that could be done by support staff? How can CPT use the guidelines to encourage and monitor that departments have appropriate support staff? American Chemical Society 14

15 Questions for Discussion - 1 On-line courses –Where in the curriculum would on-line courses be appropriate? –How could laboratory experiences be incorporated in such courses? –Are there situations where the use of on-line courses should be encouraged? Virtual laboratory –How do you define a virtual laboratory? –Virtual laboratories can play a variety of roles. Would you see them as being appropriate as supplements to traditional laboratories, as replacements of some of the traditional labs, or as replacement of all of the traditional labs in a course? –Where in the curriculum would virtual laboratories be appropriate? American Chemical Society 15

16 Questions for Discussion - 1 Non-traditional course materials: –What types of courses no longer use traditional textbooks? –The committee uses textbooks as part of our assessment of the level of courses. When courses are taught with other materials, what materials do you think would be most valuable to the committee in evaluating the level of the course? As CPT increased curricular flexibility in the 2008 Guidelines, there are opportunities for integrated laboratory or lecture courses that include content that involves two or more of the ABIOP sub-disciplines of chemistry. –What materials do you think would be most helpful to the Committee that would help us understand the coverage of the ABIOP sub-disciplines in such courses? –We could use a rubric to evaluate sub-disciplinary coverage – how would you envision this working? American Chemical Society 16

17 New uses of innovative technology –What innovative applications of technology have you seen or do you expect will be available in the next few years that might influence delivery an undergraduate chemistry major? –What of these changes should CPT try to address in the next revision of the Guidelines? American Chemical Society 17


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