P333: Success GTAs: What are they and why do we need them

Author: Margaret D. Haak, Oregon State University, USA

Co-Author: Paula J. E. Weiss, Oregon State University, USA; Ommidala Pattawong, Oregon State University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 2:45 PM3:05 PM

Room: MAK A1151

Related Symposium: S29

In Fall term 2013 we created the Success GTA position as part of a larger university-wide pilot program focused on increasing student success in first-year courses that historically have high percentages of students earning grades of D or F, or withdrawing from the course (DFW rates). The fall term enrollment in our three different general chemistry courses (science majors, engineering majors, and majors other than physical sciences) range from 750 to 1200 students and each course has between 3 and 7 lecture sections. The Success GTAs had several roles in the courses. They all taught at least one recitation or lab section in their assigned course, half the load of a regular GTA . In addition they were responsible for identifying and contacting students who were doing poorly in some aspect of the course: not registered for Mastering Chemistry or not completing the Mastering Chemistry assignments, exams scores well below the class median, not attending recitations or labs. They were also part of the CH 199 courses that were offered to provide extra support to students struggling in general chemistry. We will present results showing the impact of the Success GTA interventions, discuss the training Success GTAs received prior to the start of fall term classes, and lessons learned from the first year of this program.

P192: Less class time, more learning

Author: Margaret Haak, Oregon State University, USA

Co-Author: Michael Burand, Oregon State University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 10:35 AM10:55 AM

Room: LTT 101

Related Symposium: S21

A hybrid-format general chemistry course for science-majors was implemented in the winter term of 2014. Two sections of approximately 160 students each were included. This course was a “trailer” course insomuch as students began the sequence in the second 10-week term of the academic year. Students in trailer courses have historically been more at risk for poor academic performance. The format of the course included short, topical videos which were custom-made for this course and were made available to students online. Students were assigned to groups of approximately four for the duration of the term and biweekly class meetings consisted almost exclusively of students working on solving problems within their groups. Generally two faculty members and four teaching assistants were present to assist student groups. Typically some time was reserved at the end of the class periods for student groups (selected at random) to come before the class and present their solution to a problem. Preliminary data show that students in this hybrid course performed significantly better on exams than historical averages for the traditional lecture format. This result is especially noteworthy given that the students in the hybrid course have only 60% of the class time compared to students in the traditional version of the course. A survey of students’ views regarding this hybrid course format was also conducted and will be discussed.