Presentation on theme: "Janet Bond-Robinson Arizona State University Chemistry & Biochemistry Dept. Redesign GENERAL CHEMISTRY Non-science Majors Science Majors Sem I and II Engineering."— Presentation transcript:
Janet Bond-Robinson Arizona State University Chemistry & Biochemistry Dept. Redesign GENERAL CHEMISTRY Non-science Majors Science Majors Sem I and II Engineering Majors 2640 + 1800 Enrolled
Science Majors and Non-science Majors within the General Chemistry Enrollment PROBLEM PRECIPITATING FACTORS SOLUTION PICTURES OF REDESIGNED COLLABORATION AREA FUNCTION RECITATION TAs COST SAVINGS RETENTION LEARNING GAINS THUS FAR THREE IN-DEPTH SURVEYS GIVEN TO STUDENTS ANALYSIS OF STUDENT POPULATION DIFFERENCES
Problem The time already allocated was inefficiently used by the program Each lab TA ran a little recitation for 50 minutes at the beginning of the 3-hr lab Nothing cohesive among TAs Done with some preparation or “on the fly” No knowledge about what TAs did A recitation HOUR could be much more useful and cohesive to students
Precipitating Factors Generally, many students weren’t learning enough. Students knowing how to use out-of-class time for effective learning Poor long-term memory of concepts 25-40% DFW rate Lab TAs didn’t know what was happening in the lecture class; couldn’t help. We took a poor long octagonal classroom/low ceiling Traded it for our previous monopoly of six pre-lab classrooms (fit 24) Our Redesign $$$ leveraged 10x more from university and Steelcase Company.
Solution INCREASE STUDENTS’ TIME ON GUIDED WORK outside of lecture and lab Each course adopted use of Online Homework Removed 50 min from lab to generate enrollment for 70 recitation sections in a collaborative learning format Lab TAs Lab TAs could teach more: less time/lab and no prep for recitation from 6 hr to 8 hr (from two labs to 4 labs) Fewer Lab TAs needed “Recitation TAs”: a TA devoted to conducting 6-8 recitations of 50 minutes. Specialized TA could focus on course concepts Faculty members wrote conceptual activities
Cost Savings Due to a change in the way recitation occurred 2/3 as many TAs needed for recitation time in new format 24% decrease in overall number of TAs: 101 to 77 / ~ $20,000 + 13,500 tuition + 7.2% of base / TA 35,000 x 24 = $840,000 saved annually Reason for Fewer TAs w/ 72 students, i.e., 2; not 3 Collaborative work in tables of 6 promoted discussion among students The “scripted” activity was written by a faculty member of each course
Reduction of teaching assistants was important and desirable. The shortage of chemistry graduate students had resulted in hiring graduate students outside our dept. to staff the general chemistry program. Since no one in the department knew these graduate students or their chemistry background, this situation provided uncertainty in quality control of teaching assistants for students enrolled in our introductory chemistry courses.
Cost Savings, cont. Substituting 5 full-time “instructors” at the Master’s level for 8.5 TAs working 50% time. We gained equivalent of + 1.5 TA annually At savings of $40,500 annually. cost 5 instructors’ salary + benefits = $51,400 * 5 = $257,000 for instructors vs $297,000 for TAs Total Annual Cost Savings ~ $881,000
Student Retention i.e., Lowering DFW rate W defined: (# taking 1 st exam - # grades given). Non-Science Majors’ Course No pattern of retention DFW Averaged 31% over 3 semesters of Traditional, Pilot, and Full Implementation Recorded change in population from 40% nursing and kinesiology to below 30% due to Downtown course increased enrollments Science Majors Sem I Course DFW dropped 4% from 24.1% Traditional to 19.9% Redesigned Course
Student Learning as measured by common exam questions Non Science Majors No pattern over three semesters of traditional, pilot, and full implementation Science Majors No common exam questions in the Traditional First implementation semester Only 30-45% of students answering correctly on four of the eight questions Questions selected Fall 08 too fact oriented rather than understanding
Student Populations Very Different Approaches to Learning Survey: 3 scores Meaning-oriented; Strategic; Surface/Apathetic Taken at midterm; very possible “Instructor Effect” Non-Sc Maj course significantly more surface Evaluation of Recitation Activities Understanding Content: Good; ScMaj Course Working in Groups: Good; no difference Use of Technology, Software, & Physical Objects Recitation TAs: Good; ScMaj Course + Online Homework: time/wk, attempted, % completion Non-ScMaj Course
Acknowledgements Pam Marks Allan Scruggs Ron Briggs Jim Allen Rich Bauer Holly Huffman