P886: Crash landing the flipped classroom: When flipping falters

Author: Wendy Lou Elcesser, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA

Co-Author: Anne E. Kondo, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 2:25 PM2:45 PM

Room: MAK B1100

Related Symposium: S63

In our second-semester General Chemistry II class, we started with the basic flipping technique: asking students to come to class prepared to discuss guided questions that were assigned to group members. Class time was spent problem solving as students discussed the material in their groups before solving a related problem. Inspired by live and on-line workshops and webinars, we believed the flipped classroom would start students on the path to learning how to learn. Faculty teaching the flipped classrooms describe their experiences as “invigorating.” Non-participating instructors doubted the viability of flipping but remained curious about our experiences. They reported that students in the laboratory (from mixed lecture sections) were actively comparing lecture styles. Students, as indicated by student evaluations and Ratemyprofessor.com, exhibited resistance to the flip. Students felt that it was unfair that they “had to teach themselves.” A comparison of three sections of General Chemistry II, two flipped, and one not, will be presented. Common assessment materials were used in all three sections. The influence of class size on flipping success will also be discussed. The effect of flipping on D/F/Withdrawal rates and on attendance will be presented. How do we convince students to engage fully? Where do we go from here? Do we reroute? Or keep calm and flip on?

P274: “What I did and what I learned”: Improving student ability to communicate about their laboratory experiences with just one sentence

Author: Anne E. Kondo, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA

Co-Author: Wendy Lou Elcesser, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 4:00 PM4:20 PM

Room: MAN 123

Related Symposium: S8

In General Chemistry laboratory, students are expected to learn new techniques, collect and analyze data, and write lab reports. Graded lab reports contain comments about procedures, data analysis, significant figures, units, labeling, and incorrect conclusions – a lot of feedback for students to absorb. How do we also address our students writing skills, in keeping with the Liberal Studies designation of our course? We focused on the opening conclusion statements , where students are asked to summarize what they did and what they learned. This request is a response to studies that show “good communication skills” are top requirement of employers of Bachelor of Science hires (actually, of all hires). Well-prepared freshmen have little difficulty with this writing task, but many students struggle. Some have difficulty describing the important technique or concept; some have trouble with grammar; some can’t state things concisely. Some students focus on trivial details such as fetching 50 mL of stock solution; some are conversational, “Well, basically, in this experiment what me and my partner did was”; some still make painful spelling (there/their) errors; some write long, long, long sentences connected by multiple “and then”s. Over the semester, we tracked student progress on this task, employing either just written feedback, or also providing oral feedback when students verbally summarized what they did before they left the laboratory period. We present examples of improved student writing and assess the impact of verbal summaries. Can focusing on one sentence make a difference in students’ writing skills?