In lieu of recent events, my colleague and I will continue to concurrently teach our “flipped classroom.” The flipped classroom enables instructors to designate time during class for facilitating directed problem-solving sessions and activities with undergraduate students. The Organic Chemistry curricula will utilize online lecture videos, active reading assignments, and interactive projects. The unique features of this format are being used for the class currently.
The use of recorded mini-lectures and directed readings are essential and allow instructors to maximize the amount of time spent on critical thinking and problem-solving. A large portion of the concepts will be introduced through a textual format outside the classroom using the online platform, Perusall, in combination with problem-solving sessions that will be delivered live, or in response to student questions, conveyed via message board or email.
Students will be exposed to content through short, recorded mini-lectures covering specific sections of the text and directed readings of the textbook that prompt them to make annotations using the Perusall application. Verification of student participation in these two activities will be provided by embedded, automatically graded quizzes and automatically generated annotation ratings, respectively. Confusion Reports, which are automatically generated by Perusall, will provide feedback to instructors detailing the material that is considered to be the most difficult for students. Students can also reach out to instructors directly by tagging them (@kerritaylor). These notifications are sent directly to instructors’ emails. I generally address the most urgent and important comments in my lectures first.
In addition, interactive problem-solving sessions, which are held using the resources available on Cougarview, which is Columbus State University’s (CSU) learning management system, will allow for student-faculty interactions that help clarify tough subjects and difficult topics. We are currently working to make the most of the resources tied to online learning, so I am thankful to CSU for allowing us, as faculty members, to take full advantage of Cougarview. The assignment types on Cougarview include starbursts and retrosynthesis sets, and all of them will have appropriate due dates to ensure that students have had significant contact with the material before attending the relevant lecture.
Furthermore, I hope to use my lecture to answer questions and assist students in developing a mindset of mechanistically viewing organic reactions. As we are a little more than halfway through the semester, I endeavor to use this remaining time to help my students gain a better undertaking of organic mechanisms as we tackle this period of online learning. Like all things humanly derived, the flipped model has its flaws. However, I have a tentative plan to use the “Mechanisms” built by Alchemie to visually show electron movements of various reactions. The company has offered free classroom use to “bring arrow-pushing to life.” Alchemie has completed my request in less than 2 days, and it looks like they’re currently offering special access to schools impacted by COVID-19.
Because I teach the Organic Chemistry II lecture on TRs, I hope to use one day as synchronous instruction and the other as a Q&A session to answer questions about independent studying and assigned coursework. Overall, given the abundance of both internal and external resources to help instructors teach their classes online, I’m confident that my colleague and I will have the proper tools to guide our students to overcome this remote-learning obstacle together.
-Kerri Taylor, Columbus State University
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