P780: Best teaching practices and strategies for success with a diverse student audience in General Chemistry

Author: Barbara L. Brabetz, SUNY Cobleskill, USA

Co-Author: Holly L. Ellram, James Klino II, Joseph T. Sprague and Neil A. Law, State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 9:55 AM10:15 AM

Room: MAN 102

Related Symposium: S62

Our student audience at SUNY Cobleskill comes from a varied background with diverse preparation in the sciences and differing levels of interest in chemistry. Students’ majors run the full gamut from pre-med and pre-vet to equine health and fisheries management. In order to maximize student learning and mitigate the fear of chemistry, we have implemented a weekly quizzing and testing model with marked increases in student outcomes and retention. Results show a substantial increase of final exam grades when low-stakes weekly exams replace more traditional high-stakes exams. Concurrently, student satisfaction with the course increased. By evaluating our longitudinal data, we will present our successes and failures as measured over the course of two decades.

P442: Looking at life from both sides

Author: Neil A. Law, State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, USA

Co-Author: Barbara L. Barbetz, State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 9:55 AM10:15 AM

Room: MAN 123

Related Symposium: S36

When and at what level of depth do we teach students about atoms and bonding? How is this viewed both within the “atoms first” environment and through the lens of the “atoms first” versus “traditional” general chemistry debate? We will bring a unique view from our department at Cobleskill. One of us has taught for several years in an “atoms first” environment. The other has designed and taught for many years within the traditional structure. Cobleskill’s General Chemistry must meet the needs of a great breadth of majors, many of whom have only a single semester requirement. Conversely, many “atoms first” courses play out over a two semester layout. Based upon our experiences of these two cultures, we’ll address the atom/chemical bonding debate, and consider the potential for hybridization while meeting the needs of many campus populations for whom two semesters of general chemistry are not required for graduation.