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ABOR Learner-Centered Education Course Redesign Initiative Workshop IV Final Report April 2, 2009 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry General Chemistry.

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Presentation on theme: "ABOR Learner-Centered Education Course Redesign Initiative Workshop IV Final Report April 2, 2009 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry General Chemistry."— Presentation transcript:

1 ABOR Learner-Centered Education Course Redesign Initiative Workshop IV Final Report April 2, 2009 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry General Chemistry ASU Pam Marks Allan Scruggs Gary Cabirac

2 General Chemistry Redesign 4 Courses: 2640 + 1800 Enrolled CHM 101 Non-science Majors/ Allied Health CHM 113 / 116 2-Semester Sequence for Science Majors CHM 114 Course for Engineering Majors

3 Changes and Results of the Course Redesign CHANGES Problems with old course design Solutions Photos of redesigned collaboration area New Function of recitation TAs Online HW Prelab Activities RESULTS Cost Savings Retention Learning gains known so far Survey results

4 Problems with Old Course Design Recitation Each lab TA ran a recitation for 50 minutes at the beginning of the 3-hr lab. Nothing cohesive among TAs – inconsistent activities Sometimes little TA preparation or taught on the fly Homework Not graded so only some students did the homework Lecture – okay (Many faculty use a learner-centered approach with consistent coverage across sections.) Lab – Guided inquiry, but students had trouble making connections to lecture concepts

5 Underlying Factors Students did not know how to use out-of- class time effectively. Poor long-term memory of concepts Students had difficulty connecting lecture and lab concepts 25-40% DFW rate Some lab TAs didnt know what was happening in the lecture class; couldnt help.

6 Solutions Designed a new recitation room Developed structured weekly guided inquiry activities for all courses. Incorporated online homework in all courses Added a pre-lab component to the lab

7 Solutions The Redesigned Recitation Room We overhauled a poor-quality octagonal classroom/low ceiling Traded it for our previous monopoly of six smaller classrooms (w/capacity of 24) Our Redesign $$$ leveraged 10x more from university and Steelcase Company. Built a quality, multimedia, collaborative learning room to accommodate ~70 students

8 Solutions New Guided-Inquiry Recitation Activities Structured activities written by faculty and facilitated by 2 instructors / 60-70 students Activities designed to develop concepts for deeper and longer-term understanding and for visuallization. Recitation Instructors: a graduate TA or faculty instructor devoted to facilitating 6-8 recitations of 50 minutes. Reason for Success with Fewer TAs w/ 72 students (2 not 3) Collaborative work in tables of 6 promoted discussion among students. The scripted guided-inquiry activity was written by a faculty member of each course.

9 Solutions Lab TAs Lab TAs can teach more: Less time/lab and no prep for recitation Not required to attend lecture From 6 hr to 8 hr (from 2 labs to 4 labs with no rec.) Fewer Lab TAs needed


11 The New Recitation Room

12 Soln: Recitation Instructors Function as Facilitators

13 Student Impressions Its different... the layout. Nice seating and visual aids. Its cool to work across the table and interact with everyone and learn from each other. Interview- Student New Classroom In the traditional classroom, students did not sit in teams, which made it difficult for them to engage in peer learning. Old Classroom

14 Student Impressions We can throw our stuff up there [digital projection on the wall] if we want to. Interview- Student New Classroom Its very different from the other recitations. [In the previous recitation classroom] it was just the TA talking, then everyone working on their own instead of working in a group. -Interview- Student Old Classroom

15 Online Homework Introductory Chemistry (nonscience majors) ARIS/CONNECT Online Homework 5-10% of grade General Chemistry and Engineering Chemistry MasteringChemistry Online Homework 9-12% of grade

16 Laboratory Modifications Lab is now a 2-hour block with no recitation. Pre-lab activities are now assigned to students. Pre-lab activities include: Online research Problems that help students make connections to lecture Students proposal for a procedure

17 Cost Savings Due to a change in the way recitation occurred: 2/3 as many TAs needed for recitation in new format 24% decrease in overall number of TAs (101 to 77) TA Cost: Salary + tuition + benefits $33,421 x 24 TA lines = $802,000 saved annually Substituting 5 full-time instructors at the Masters level for 8.5 TAs working 50% time. We gained equivalent of + 1.5 TAs annually At savings of $40,500 annually. Cost of 5 instructors salary + benefits = $51,400 * 5 = $257,000 for instructors vs $297,000 for TAs Total Annual Cost Savings: $802,000 + $40,500 = $842,500

18 Reduction of teaching assistants was important and desirable The shortage of chemistry graduate students had resulted in hiring some graduate students outside our department to staff the general chemistry program. This situation provided uncertainty in quality control of teaching assistants for students enrolled in our introductory chemistry courses.

19 Student Retention Measured with DFW rate W defined: (# taking 1 st exam – # grades given). Non-Science Majors Course (CHM 101) 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 (CHM 113) DFW dropped 4% From 24.1% in Traditional to 19.9% in Redesigned Course

20 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 highly conceptual

21 Student Surveys Show Positive Response to Changes Student Surveys Evaluation of Recitation Activities Understanding Content: Good; ScMaj Course Working in Groups: Good; no difference Use of Technology, Software, & Physical Objects Good Recitation TAs: Good; ScMaj Course Survey about Online Homework: time/wk, attempted, % completion Non-ScMaj Course

22 Implementation Advantages and Challenges Advantages Faculty know what students are learning in recitation More efficient use of student time / Active learning Increased sense of community inside and outside of class. Better student attitudes / good feedback Cost savings Consistency across courses Challenges during pilot and start of full implementation Administering new design Computer issues Changes to lab Some TAs and students were resistant to change

23 The Future Modify laboratory experiments and renovate laboratories to create a more collaborative environment. Improve prelabs Online Interactive / videos / animations Continue to modify recitation activities to take advantage of multimedia environment.

24 The Team Janet Bond-Robinson – Project PI, Clinical Professor Ron Briggs – Coordinator of General Chemistry Pam Marks – Principal Lecturer Shelly Seerley – Faculty Instructor Allan Scruggs – Lecturer Gary Cabirac – Lecturer/ General Chemistry Lab Coordinator Richard Bauer – Senior Lecturer, Phoenix campus Holly Huffman – Lecturer, Polytechnic campus

25 Recitation Faculty Instructors Shelly Seerley Heidi McIllwraith Brandon Forest Jim Klemaszewski Sidd Sreekaram

26 Acknowledgements Steelcase / Polyvision Walsh Bros. University Architects Office (UAO) Pedro Chavarriaga – Project Manager (UAO) Dominique Laroche (UAO) Judy Case (UAO) Frank Davis – Chemistry Electronics Jim Allen – Department Associate Chair Bill Petuskey – Department Chair ABOR

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