P422: Assessing process skills in a large POGIL classroom

Author: Suzanne M. Ruder, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA


Date: 8/5/14

Time: 10:35 AM10:55 AM

Room: MAN 122

Related Symposium: S15

Process skills like critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork, are essential for workplace success. Students gain important process skills when working in a student-centered environment like a POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) Classroom. Although student content gains are fairly easy to measure, the assessment of process skills is less obvious. In order to determine whether students were exhibiting process skills during class time, teaching assistants (TA’s) were utilized in a large POGIL classroom. Each TA was provided with the process-skill goal and a list of three to four items to look for during group interactions. TA’s evaluated how well the groups exhibited the process skill on a scale of 1-5. Additionally, students were asked to reflect in writing on a specific skill at the end of each activity, or during class using electronic clicker devices.

P117: Concept maps: Helping students connect the dots in organic chemistry

Author: Suzanne M. Ruder, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA


Date: 8/4/14

Time: 9:35 AM9:55 AM

Room: LMH 176

Related Symposium: S3

Many organic chemistry students prepare for exams by memorizing vast amounts of reactions and reagents rather than striving to attain a conceptual understanding of the material. This lack of conceptual understanding is derived in part by the failure to see how similar concepts are connected in organic chemistry. The novice learner sees the individual topics as separate and unrelated, making the amount of material seem overwhelming. Concepts maps can help students see how particular topics are interrelated, allowing them to “connect the dots” between topics. This is especially important when tying together similar concepts that are presented in different chapters. A weekly concept mapping session was held outside of class time, where students worked in groups to prepare concept maps on a specific subject. As the semester progressed, more topics were introduced, allowing students to see connections between new material and material already covered.