Undergraduate Learning Outcomes Final Teaching Essay Council of Graduate Schools Grant Project, Spring 2014

Goal Directed and Active Engagement Learning Strategy, in Perspective of General Chemistry Wu Ying Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology University of California, Merced

Abstract Academic performance improvement is considered one key aspect of undergraduate education and is thought to be influenced by several factors, such as motivation, learning efficiency and time devoted for learning. Here, the implementation of goal-directed and active-engaged learning strategies in a General Chemistry Laboratory Section is discussed. These strategies, which include mini-quizzes, group mini-presentations and real-world examples, increase students’ learning efficiency and time management skills, and are demonstrated to be quite effective in improving student learning performance, as measured by three signature assignments and two standard exams designed by American Chemical Society.

1. Introduction In the spring semester of 2014, in order to document the teaching experience of general chemistry and prepare for the future teaching career, I participated in the Council of Graduate Schools Grant Project, which focused on undergraduate learning outcomes assessment: pedagogy and program planning. In this project, I participated in the pre-semester workshops and weekly meetings throughout the semester, which keeps me in touch with faculty and other teaching fellows and offers me a great opportunity to dive into the literature sea of teaching pedagogy. I also developed weekly lesson plans and three customized surveys to improve the learning performance of my students. [1] The lab section I am teaching is considered an extension to General chemistry (CHEM 002), which is the first semester of a two-semester general chemistry course. It greatly supports the conceptual and mathematical focus of this course, improves students’ hands-on experimental skills and exposes the students to various kinds of scientific equipment. They need to master mathematical tools with particular emphasis placed on stoichiometric calculations and the conceptual approach to study the trends they observed during the experiments. [1] It is well believed that the learning process of the factual knowledge is the most time-consuming and tedious although it is highly stressed in the fundamental undergraduate courses like CHEM 02. When Anderson and Krathwohl systematically discussed the Bloom’s taxonomy, they pointed out that four types of knowledge are classified by the knowledge dimension ranging from concrete to abstract. [2] [3] In different level courses, the learning outcomes of undergraduate students in the perspective of cognitive process usually starts from the lower order thinking skills such as “remember” and “understand”, sometimes “apply”. [4] Factual knowledge, for example knowledge of terminology and knowledge of [email protected]

Undergraduate Learning Outcomes Final Teaching Essay Council of Graduate Schools Grant Project, Spring 2014

specific details and element lay the foundation for abstract knowledge. It remains to be a severe problem on how to effectively motivate students and improve their efficiency when they learn factual knowledge in the classroom. Motivation refers to the personal investment that an individual has in reaching a desired state or outcome. [5] Students’ motivation, which involves the subjective value of a goal and the expectancies can generate, direct and sustain what they do to learn. [6] [7] Expectancies and values interact to influence the level of motivation to engage in goal-directed behavior. Strategies that help students build positive expectancies and establish value can definitely contribute to enhanced motivation, which usually supports learning performance. An active-learning environment which is called an outsider effect is also a key factor that impacts students’ learning performance. Without question, the complex dynamics of the classroom, its tone, the interpersonal forces at play, and the nature and structure of communication patterns all combine to either support or inhibit the students’ motivation to pursue a goal. Research shows that in a lecture longer than forty five minutes, the students’ attention and memory to the targeted knowledge and concepts drop rapidly in the latter half of the lecture. It is obvious that the efficiency of course work learning is much lower when the students lose attention. Several studies show that a question or inquiry based classroom environment contribute to more dynamic critical thinking, which in the meantime help attain students’ attention. [8] [9]

2. Research goals 2.1 Research goals of this study The central goal of this study is to characterize the effects of goal-directed and active engagement learning strategies in improving students’ learning performance of different levels, especially in meeting both the required program learning goals and course learning goals. The investigation is mainly based on three surveys which were conducted by students assessing teaching and learning group (SATAL), two consecutive exams designed by American Chemical Society (ACS) for general chemistry course in college and three signature assignments.

2.2 Course Learning Goals of CHEM 002 [1] a. Derive the names and formulas of compounds based upon the IUPAC system of inorganic nomenclature for binary compounds and oxyacids; b. Determine empirical and molecular formulas from data, balance chemical equations, predict the formation of precipitates, and use stoichiometric relationships to calculate product and reactant amounts with applications to limiting reagent and % yield concepts; c. Analyze the energy associated with chemical reactions, perform simple chemical thermodynamic calculations, and be able to apply these concepts to the first law of thermodynamics, stoichiometric relationships, calorimetry and Hess’s law; d. Explain the basic concepts of quantum theory and the basic theories of chemical bonding, and be able to make predictions about atomic and molecular properties; e. Apply the principles of stoichiometry, combined gas laws and reaction kinetics to gaseous phase systems; [email protected]

Undergraduate Learning Outcomes Final Teaching Essay Council of Graduate Schools Grant Project, Spring 2014

f. Compare and contrast ideal gases with real gases; g. Perform basic chemistry laboratory techniques, use common laboratory instruments, record data and observations accurately, and describe sources of error and uncertainty in experimental data.

2.3 Related Program Learning Goals [1] a. b. c.

Fundamental Knowledge and Skills Scientific Methodology Communication and Teamwork Skills

3. Methodology 3.1 Setting and participants This study is conducted in a newly-established research-based public university in University of California system, UC-Merced. The student body is quite diverse on this campus as is shown in figure 1 and figure 2 although race and sex differences are not taken into account in this study. Participants are my students in two lab sections of General Chemistry with 24 students each section. Ethnicity African-American Asian Hispanic White Total

Number Percent 4 8.3% 15 31.3% 17 35.4% 12 25% 48 100% Figure.1 Undergraduate Students by Ethnicity

Gender Male Female Total

Number Percent 27 56.2% 21 43.8% 48 100% Figure. 2 Undergraduate Students by Gender

3.2 Pedagogical Methods In order to increase goal-directed motivation, I intentionally shared some experience on what is the life like in graduate school and medical school and what they can do with the skills and knowledge they learned from CHEM 02. I also developed a specific lesson plan for each lab in order to increase my students’ engagement in which it is specified that the mini-quiz questions and straightforward examples used to illustrate the tough concepts and equations. As the questions are not formally graded, they are encouraged to discuss within their group and present their solutions on the white board.

[email protected]

Undergraduate Learning Outcomes Final Teaching Essay Council of Graduate Schools Grant Project, Spring 2014

3.3 Data Collection 3.3.1

Survey Results

Three surveys were conducted in order to have a clear knowledge of students’ learning situations. Directed by the research goal, there are two types of questions: effectiveness of (1) goal-directed and (2) active engagement learning strategies I designed in my lesson plans. Also, the survey and the teaching methods would be adjusted accordingly to the students’ feedback and results.

A. Comprehensive Survey The comprehensive survey is mainly designed to get a basic image of the students’ background and to provide me a baseline for the future comparison for several aspects such as their expectancy, learning motivation and learning habits. Year Freshman Sophomore Junior Total

Number Percent 26 54.2% 17 35.4% 2 4.2% 46 95.8% Figure. 3 Undergraduate Students by Year

Major Chemistry/Biology Other Science/Engineering Social Science Total

Number Percent 25 52.1% 17 35.4% 3 6.25% 48 95.8% Figure. 4 Undergraduate Students by Major

Course Number Percent Chemistry Course in High School 33 68.8% AP Courses 10 20.8% Chem 001 33 68.8% Chem 002 4 8.3% Chemistry Research Program 0 0 Figure. 5 Previous Chemistry Courses Have Taken In the question which ask them to name three glassware on the bench, only 27 (56.3%) students came up with the right names. 27 (56.3%) students considered chemistry within their career path and 30 (62.5%) students have the intention to apply for a graduate school.

B. Mid-Semester & Final Survey

[email protected]

Undergraduate Learning Outcomes Final Teaching Essay Council of Graduate Schools Grant Project, Spring 2014

The survey results are attached with this paper in the excel document which contains 14 questions. They provided the subsequent results of the students after studying for one month and for the whole semester.

3.3.2 Signature Assignments In order to compare the performance difference in the beginning of the semester with near the end of the semester, three separate signature assignments have been collected. The form of the signature assignments is lab reports. The format, Significant figures of the data, and percentage error are the three major aspects that are focused on.

Figure. 6 Signature Assignment Performance Comparison

3.3.3 Exams This semester, there are five exams in total in which the diagnostic exam is not counted into the final grades but the students were not informed of this information until they finished. The diagnostic exam and final exam are designed by American Chemical Society and three mid-term exams are designed by the Lecturer of the course. The grades of the exams are used as a tool to measure their performance and compare the performance of undergraduates in my sections with those in other sections.

3.4 Data Analysis As the comprehensive survey result turns out, the majority of the students are in their freshman year and more than half of them are in chemistry/biology major. More than 2/3 of them have basic chemistry background either in high school or in the previous semester at college. However, less than 2/3 of the students were capable of naming three basic glassware on their bench which indicates that they haven’t fulfilled their learning goals in their previous chemistry courses. If we consider achievement to be equal to Efficiency×Time, the active engagement of the students [email protected]

Undergraduate Learning Outcomes Final Teaching Essay Council of Graduate Schools Grant Project, Spring 2014

during the class will determine their efficiency and the time they are willing to devote into this course is directly related to how clear and effective their learning and career goals are related. The specific lesson plans for each week systematically improved the integrity of the class structure, especially the mini quiz questions and real-world examples helped increase the engagement of the students. 50% (62% final) of the students find the experiment is the most interesting and 42% (53% final) of them consider the review of the quiz and lab reports the most important part. It turns out the students paid more attention to the class when I ask them the mini-quiz questions compared with the labs last year which is reflected in the time they needed to complete the lab. During the discussion, they were more engaged in thinking about the questions and the contents in the textbook. After their discussion, they gained confidence and had a better ability to communicate with others thus a better learning environment was formed and a higher expectancy of themselves was achieved which contributed to their learning passion. As the final survey turns out, 83% of the students usually take a review before the quizzes and exams which increased by 7% compared with that during the mid-semester. For some specific labs, it turns out the use of real world examples was quite beneficial as they finished the labs more efficiently and correctly when they mastered the concepts and procedures better. The idea I developed for “Lewis and VSEPR: Bonding and Structure of Molecules” that using shared pocket money between several friends to explain the shared electrons between atoms turns out improving their understanding and efficiency according to their feedback. 81% of the students consider it helpful to link everyday examples with the concepts in the final survey. In addition to the active engagement, goal directed learning is also helpful for them. For biology and chemistry major students, it usually works well when I show the relevance of this course to their current academic lives. Once they know the skills and knowledge they learned from general chemistry is the foundation to their future career in various scientific areas, they would definitely appreciate the current learning experience. From the beginning of this semester, I purposefully demonstrate the relevance of this course to other higher level course, such as analytical chemistry, electrochemistry and so on. The mid-semester survey results suggest that this goal directed learning help put more value on this course and this effectively contributes to the students’ learning passion. At the end of the semester 74% of the students find chemistry is interesting and 81% of them want to consider applying for graduate school or medical school from which we can see an increase of 28% and 16% compared with the results of mid-semester respectively. By comparing the performance of lab reports (second vs last) and standard exams (diagnostic vs final), the students that got right in terms of the format and significant figures of the data increase dramatically, and percentage error is slightly decreasing. The average of each exam is listed below. From the graph, the average grades of my students usually is higher than the average of all students except the diagnostic exam which is taken during the first week. This demonstrates the effectiveness of my teaching strategies to some extent and indicates a better overall performance.

[email protected]

Undergraduate Learning Outcomes Final Teaching Essay Council of Graduate Schools Grant Project, Spring 2014

Figure 7. Comparison of the average of several exams between my sections and all sections

4. Conclusion The goal directed and active learning strategies developed are demonstrated to be beneficial to the students in the general chemistry course. The link between skills and knowledge they learned from general chemistry and their future careers in various scientific areas helps to stimulate their appreciation of the current learning experience. Also, the connection of courses in different levels improves the value of the course itself, for example the connection of general chemistry to other higher level course, such as analytical chemistry, electrochemistry and so on. This goal directed learning help put more value on this course and this effectively contributes to the students’ learning passion. The strategies help build the students’ motivation and improve their learning efficiency both of which contribute to their learning performance. It would be more interesting to implement some specific learning strategies to the under-represented students as Merced has the most diverse student body among all the UC campuses and there is a large number of first generation college students on this campus.

Reference [1] Supplemental materials for CHEM 2 such as the syllabus, rubrics, lab report templates, teaching plans and so on you can find on the website: http://cgsgrantprojectspring2014.wordpress.com/ [2] Bloom, B. S.; Engelhart, M. D.; Furst, E. J.; Hill, W. H.; Krathwohl, D. R., Taxonomy of educational objectives, Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay Company, 1956 [3] David R. Krathwohl, Theory Into Proctice, Volume 41, Number 4, Autumn 2002 [4] Clark, Donald R., Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains, 1999 [5] Maehr, Martin L.; Meyer, Heather A., Educational Psychology Review 9 (4): 371-409, 1997 [6] Ambrose, S., Bridges, M., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M., & Norman, M., How learning works, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010 [7] Atkinson, John W., Psychological Review, Vol 64(6, Pt.1), Nov 1957, 359-372. [8] Maria T. Oliver-Hoyo, J. Chem. Educ., 2003, 80, 8 [9] Haozhi Xu and Vicente Talanquer, J. Chem. Educ. 2013, 90, 21-28 [email protected]

Wu Ying.pdf

There was a problem previewing this document. Retrying... Download. Connect more apps... Try one of the apps below to open or edit this item. Wu Ying.pdf.

181KB Sizes 5 Downloads 60 Views

Recommend Documents

John Wu
safer to exchange digital information. ... Maintained and repaired Java framework (JSP, Spring, Hibernate) website with tomcat server and ... Parsed website, grabbed media source and developed Android stream launcher application in Java.

Schematic Surface Reconstruction - Changchang Wu
This paper introduces a schematic representation for architectural scenes together with robust algorithms for reconstruction from sparse 3D point cloud data. The.

Hosta plant named 'Empress Wu'
Feb 23, 2010 - Variety denomination: 'Empress Wu'. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION. The present invention relates to the new and distinct hosla plant, Hosta 'Empress Wu' hybridized and developed by. Brian Skaggs andVirginia Skaggs in Lowell, Ind., USA as

Mr Wu Microaggression Draft.pdf
There was a problem previewing this document. Retrying... Download. Connect more apps... Try one of the apps below to open or edit this item.

wu qin xi pdf
There was a problem previewing this document. Retrying... Download. Connect more apps... Try one of the apps below to open or edit this item. wu qin xi pdf.

Abstract-Wu Ming Yue.pdf
Page 1. Whoops! There was a problem loading more pages. Retrying... Abstract-Wu Ming Yue.pdf. Abstract-Wu Ming Yue.pdf. Open. Extract. Open with. Sign In.

wu qin xi pdf
Page 1. Whoops! There was a problem loading more pages. wu qin xi pdf. wu qin xi pdf. Open. Extract. Open with. Sign In. Main menu. Displaying wu qin xi pdf.

Timer and WU feb 2016.xlsx
Team. Saturday AM Saturday PM. Sunday AM. Sunday PM. AA. 8. 6. 8. 8. GA. 2. 2. 2. 2. Blue. 1. 2. 1. 1. BDSC. 1. 1. 1. 1. LFSC. 1. 2. 1. 1. POSA. 0. 1. 0. 1. DPRC.

[PDF] Download The Wu-Tang Manual Full Audiobook
Page 1 ... The Wu Tang Manual http femeedia com book Connect your Facebook account to Prezi and .... Simply Sign Up to one of our plans and start browsing.

Watch Wu Lin Feng Yun (1970) Full Movie Online Free ...
Whoops! There was a problem previewing this document. Retrying... Download. Connect more apps... Try one of the apps below to open or edit this item. Watch Wu Lin Feng Yun (1970) Full Movie Online Free .Mp4______________.pdf. Watch Wu Lin Feng Yun (1

Watch Zhenjia Wu Zetian (1939) Full Movie Online Free ...
Watch Zhenjia Wu Zetian (1939) Full Movie Online Free .Mp4____________.pdf. Watch Zhenjia Wu Zetian (1939) Full Movie Online Free .Mp4____________.

Watch Wu Lei Hong Ding (1973) Full Movie Online Free ...
Watch Wu Lei Hong Ding (1973) Full Movie Online Free .Mp4_____________.pdf. Watch Wu Lei Hong Ding (1973) Full Movie Online Free .

Position Paper Committee: ECOSOC Delegate: Patrick Wu ... - GitHub
Oct 4, 2015 - capability of the originated-country, as the factors of which include social stability, ... Department for Culture, Media & Sport) (6 August 2014).