Discipline: Chemistry & Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Leyte Winfield - Spelman College
Co-Author(s): Kai McCormack and Felicia Fullilove, Spelman College
The learning environment in higher education has morphed from a lecture-driven paradigm to an amalgam of experiences that utilizes collaborative and active learning pedagogies enhanced by technology. In line with this, the current projects focuses on community-based, active learning strategies in the first- and second-year chemistry lecture courses. To gain additional insight into the impact of collaborative learning activities on content mastery, skill building workshops were developed for the Organic Chemistry II course. The workshops (7 total) are led by a student who previously completed the course. All students enrolled in the course are required to attend 9 of the 11 workshops. The students are assigned to a workshop section (limited to 10 students), and the assignments are maintained for the semester, forming the basis for community-based learning. During the workshop, the leader provides a brief overview of the topic following which students work in small groups to complete a worksheet-based activity. Students were given pre and post assessments to analyze their levels of understanding and to determine their self-reported gains in knowledge. In addition, students completed an evaluation critiquing the overall logistics of the workshops, summarizing the perceived usefulness of the topics covered, and indicating their approach to and motivation for learning. To further determine the success of the initiative, semi-structured focus groups involving the workshop leaders were conducted. It is believed that the workshops are successful at providing students immediate feedback on their level of content mastery while serving as a resource to promote skill mastery.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): The National Science Foundation HBCU-Up Targeted Infusion Project Award No. HRD-1332575 the Spelman College Teaching Research and Resources Center
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,