P576: Motivating and engaging students in nonmajors courses
How do we motivate students who are not majoring in our subject to invest the required time to achieve our course’s student learning outcomes? And once motivated, how do we help them gain a strong foundation in our subject matter? Two excellent books The Unified Learning Model and They’re Not Dumb, They’re Different provides the theoretical framework for our chemistry survey course for nursing majors. We focus on three key components from the ULM: working memory, knowledge, and motivation. From They’re Not Dumb, They’re Different we keep in mind non-science majors care more about direct application not abstract theory and cooperation not competition. In this learning environment we combine two existing pedagogical approaches-Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL)-to accomplish these two goals. PBL provides context and motivation for learning chemistry through health-related case studies, and POGIL provides a nurturing environment in which students obtain both process skills and subject knowledge. We will be presenting data from the Student Assessment of Learning Gains and Chemistry Self-Concept Inventory (long version) to assess the affective component of this learning environment. Data from SALG provides evidence for a direct professor “effect” on the learning environment.