Active learning strategies in the chemistry classroom
Learning is deeper and the process is more enjoyable when everyone in the classroom is engaged. We have developed and tested active learning strategies in the three learning environments implemented at UAB (classroom, recitation, and laboratory). Our activities are informed by research on how people learn and adapted for use in the chemistry classroom. We have explored think-pair-share, peer-to-peer learning, group-based activities, and challenge problems. All of these approaches require the development of new materials and assessment of how the changes impact student success.
Technology in the Classroom
We have a long tradition on delivering content via a learning management system, and we are investigating how video can be integrated in an active learning classroom. Typically, video is considered a passive delivery tool, but with the availability of handheld phones capable of capturing video we now have an opportunity to explore new modes of instruction. Student-produced videos, pre-lab videos, video challenges, and video that address big ideas are all possible avenues to make learning through video more active.
Early College Experiences Leading to the Lab
As an Associate Director in the Science and Technology Program in the Honors College, I have created a curriculum that is designed to help students identify their strengths and interests so that they can quickly contribute to a research laboratory. This curriculum includes summer orientation sessions, a freshman retreat, a junior/senior retreat, coursework, and extra-curricular workshops.