Course Transformation Project: Chemistry 301

Uploaded by utaustintexas on 19.11.2012

>>Jimmy Wadman: I've always been really good at science,
really good at understanding things and
chemistry just kind of took me by surprise. I got my first test
back and I didn't do as well as I thought I was going to do.
Honestly, I did worse than I had ever done in my life.
>>Cynthia LaBrake: Jimmy is a very typical student in transitioning from
high school to college. It's a different set of expectations.
>>Jimmy Wadman: I was a good student
in high school but I was one of the students who would just
read the material and understand it right away.
Chemistry is not a class that you can do that in. That's why this whole
course transformation really helped me.
>>Cynthia LaBrake: Studies have shown that
just passively listening in the lecture format typically students only retain
about 10% of what they would learn just by listening.
>>Jimmy Wadman: I'll say the key difference with a transformed course is
that the class is actually opened up to do a lot more than just
sit and watch a lecture.
>>Cynthia LaBrake: So what we do is we try to design
classwork where the students have to analyze a set of data
and then explain the results
which is completely different than the way one would normally
teach and the only way we can do that with that many students is
to have a lot of assistants guiding the students through the activities.
>>Jimmy Wadman: I am an undergraduate assistant. I am there to
answer questions. Since I was in this class as a transformed course
I know exactly what they're going through. A student will come into class
and we usually bombard them with quizzes, it goes into a database and
we want to see where they are in the class.
>>Professor Vanden Bout: Can anybody tell me
why they picked [inaudible] for "A"? Why did you pick "A"?
In the way back.
>>Cynthia LaBrake: Jimmy is an example of
a typical student who is a success story. A lot of students will come in
to their first chemistry test or the second test and fail it
because they are just so used to the way they've learned science
and chemistry in particular in middle school and high school.
>>Jimmy Wadman: The most important thing I learned
in the course transformation program was my study habits.
It's a goal to have discussions between students
because that's a very effective learning strategy. So now in my classes,
my upper division chemistry and biology classes,
I learn best by explaining it to other people.
And when I can teach back the material that I've learned
is when I know that I truly understand it.