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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT | Sarah Hansen, 2015 Hybrid Learning RFP Recipient

December 6, 2019


(playful music) – My name is Sarah Hansen. I’ve been teaching the general
chemistry lab since 2004. This course is a completely
independent course, separate from the lecture
course in general chemistry, which means we have students
at all different places in the general chemistry lecture sequence. We have a number of post-bacs, we have engineering
students, we have undergrads from really the entire Columbia community taking this course, and
that’s one of the things I love about it. During lecture, we noticed
some students were frantically writing notes and really overwhelmed, other students were familiar
with a lot of the content and either checked out
or just knew the material and needed to be challenged some more. Before students arrive, they’re
asked to watch some videos. And sometimes there’s a
webpage with additional content to read over, sometimes a simulation, but usually it’s videos. They also have a pre-class quiz that takes most students
about two minutes, and allows them to assess
their own learning. Once they come to class,
we usually start out with a little bit of a poll
to see where students are at, what they’re wondering
about, what they’re asking for more content on, and
we’ve started incorporating large sections of time where
they are problem solving. So, sometimes it’s back and forth, a few minutes to think,
then they answer a question, but more and more we’re shifting
towards maybe 20 minutes of individual and group problem solving. I have access to the pre-class quiz, so any students that
take the pre-class quiz, I can actually see
where those students are and what they need out of the lecture. I like to frame the lecture as somewhat of a choose your own adventure,
because based on their answers, I’m gonna tailor the — I
have a little bit of the class structured, but then the
rest of it is based on what they need to talk about at that time. The idea is that they
leave with targeted things they need to study. Now
they say, okay, I understood this material, I didn’t
understand this material, and here are some problems
that I want to revisit on the discussion board
or in office hours. CTL has really provided support in ideas, that’s been the biggest thing. I had some problems and I had a few ideas, but I wasn’t really sure
how to implement them, and CTL has provided support
for developing the ideas on how to use the polling, best practices for active learning in the
classroom, how to train the TAs in active learning, and how
to look at the assessment data I was getting from the course. (playful music)

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