P942: General chemistry course redesign projects at the University of New Mexico

Author: Sarah Toews Keating, University of New Mexico, USA

Co-Author: K. Joseph Ho and Sushilla Knottenbelt, University of New Mexico, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

The general chemistry courses, CHEM 121 &122, are key gateway courses for STEM majors and are required by over 20 different degree programs at UNM. They are also frequently on the UNM ‘killer course’ list, with between 20 and 50% of students not succeeding and hence unable to progress in their STEM fields. We started the redesign effort with the support of UNM STEM Gateway Program in 2012 for CHEM 122 to improve student understanding of and engagement with course material, by developing resources to support active learning. The preliminary assessments from the test and control groups indicated significant conceptual learning gains in the fall semester of 2012. We therefore extended our efforts to CHEM 121 in 2013. This presentation describes the strategies of our reformed projects, assessment data from both redesigned courses, and faculty experiences in making the transition from teacher-centered to student-centered classrooms.

P386: How classroom environment affects student-centered learning

Author: Sushilla Knottenbelt, University of New Mexico, USA


Date: 8/4/14

Time: 6:00 PM7:15 PM

Room: KC

Related Symposium: S33

A wide body of evidence shows that active learning techniques improve student engagement and achievement. Active learning is being used more widely in science teaching and has been implemented in diverse settings from large fixed-seat lecture halls to small learning studios specifically designed for collaboration. This presentation explores the impact that the classroom environment has on student engagement, achievement, and retention in general chemistry when active learning techniques are used by a single instructor in a large fixed seat lecture hall (290 students), a small learning studio (51 students) and a large learning studio (126 students). Preliminary data include comparisons of attendance, homework scores, exam scores, a pre- and post-concept inventory, as well as final grades and retention. Student attitudes to active learning in the three different classroom environments are also compared.