General Chemistry 1: A Video Book and Problem Solving for Flipped or Active Instruction
Lead Author(s): Donna McGregor, Pamela Mills
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General Chemistry video book using an atoms first approach. Includes tailored homework problems and can be used in a fully flipped or active lecture classroom.
General Chemistry 1:
A Video Book and Problem Solving for Flipped or Active Instruction
Welcome to General Chemistry 1 - taught using a flipped classroom model with active learning. This course is organized into 18 topics and follows (approximately) an “atoms first” approach. The content is organized into four broad areas – 1) an overview of the course, 2) spectroscopy and bonding, and 3) stoichiometry and 4) phases of matter. While we believe that the topics in each area should be kept in sequence and that area 1 must come first, it is possible to change the order of areas 2, 3 and 4. The Video Table of Contents provides a detailed outline of both the timing and the content covered in each video for the entire course.
The course itself is composed of numerous learning components that support student learning in multiple ways and through a learning cycle.
- Students begin each new topic by considering their prior knowledge about the topic using the learning goal analysis. There is no right answer to these likert scale questions, students are simply assessing what they might already know and getting ready to watch the videos.
- Initial content explication occurs through a video backbone with learning supported, practiced and tested using online homework problems that have been written into the platform. Each video is followed by 3 "Lets Practice" Questions. These questions are based on the content in the video and in our implementation of the course students do not need to get these questions correct, but they must both watch the required videos and attmept all the "Video Practice" questions before they come to class every week. Topic homework will be discussed in bullet 4 below.
- Class time is spent in collaborative problem solving in what we refer to as "Clicker Class". Clicker class consists of a series of concept and skills problems tailored to develop and then support a depth of content understanding. Our design is modelled after Mazur’s Peer Instruction (Eric Mazur (1997), A User’s Manual, Crouch and Mazur, (2001), Am J Phys, 69, 970-977).
- After class each week students are required to complete a set of online homeowrk problems. These problems msut be answered correctly to earn credit and are egnerally more challenging that the "Let's Practice" Problems.
The multiple course components and the numerous deadlines are organized into a single platform, along with student grades, to provide significant and rapid feedback (formative assessment) essential to effective learning (Black and Wiliam, (1998) Phi Delta Kappan 80, 139-148, and resources from dylanwiliam.org).
Our Implementation of the course:
In our implementation of the course we organize student activities based on a 14-week academic calendar. While the content itself is organized into 18 or 16 Topics (Chem1 and 2 respectively), the academic year at CUNY is comprised of 14 weeks of study and we meet with our students twice each week for a one-hour Workshop and a two-hour Clicker class. To help students stay organized we structure the course material into a repeating pattern of assignments that are due on the same day of the week for the duration of the semester.
We have found that helping students learn to organize their time is one of the key features required for success in the course. Students follow a pacing guide that we constructed for assignment due dates and then organize their “at home” time to make sure they accomplish the required tasks before the deadlines. An outline of each student activity and when it is due in our course is provided in the table in the Review Materials section. This organization can be re-structured to fit any academic calendar with a class meeting on any day of the week, but we have found that class meetings later in the week are more successful and that consistency in assignment due dates is important to student’s ability to organize their time.
* All Content in this course was developed by Pamela Mills and Donna McGregor of Lehman College, CUNY