Ryan Denton and Rob Minto, School of Science
Submitter:Rob Minto, PI
Title:First Year Organic Chemistry
CTL Funding Level:$12,000.00
Abstract:The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (C&CB) at IUPUI seeks to address suboptimal student performance in the first semester organic chemistry lecture and laboratory series by changing the course’s social and educational dynamics. Student surveys have consistently conveyed a perception that improvements could be made in several aspects of these two courses. During the Fall 2009 semester, the C&CB developed a strategic three-part plan to improve the student experience in the first semester organic series. We aim to encourage the formation of a network of student teachers/learners, a heightened awareness of differences in learning styles, the development of mentoring relationships, the use of technology to aid in student learning, and active group study. To meet these specific teaching and learning objectives, the following course improvements are proposed: i) creating a peer-led problem based recitation to accompany the lecture, ii) developing a hybrid online laboratory that allows students access to online recitations, demonstrations, and other laboratory resources, and iii) creating an online knowledge base that will house an ever-growing database of student questions and peer/instructor solutions. It is our belief that these changes will increase student motivation, participation, and success in the first-semester organic chemistry series. These curricular enhancements will be overseen by three chemistry faculty with the full support of the Department. To assess the curricular value of these modifications, we will utilize standardized exams and student surveys, along with student focus group analysis.