collaborative/cooperative learning

Surveying Litter as a Citizen Science Chemistry Activity

During the last few semesters, a small survey has been deployed at Bradley University where students were to describe and classify items of litter that they found. The purposes of the surveys were to get students thinking about some of the chemical implications of solid waste and give the students some experience with a citizen science project. The most recent iteration of the survey, and some of its results, are described.

Teaching Chemistry With Case Studies

Case studies have been a staple of undergraduate and graduate education programs like medicine, law, and business, for many years. They let learners engage with simulated real-world situations, making the content more meaningful and connected to their future careers. As a valuable context-based learning tool, case studies are becoming more common in secondary science. Here, we'll explore the role that students and instructors play when learning with case studies.

Managing Student Collaboration with Kristen Drury & Stephanie O'Brien

POGIL activities can be used to engage students in chemistry lessons through the use of student teams, effective models, and tiered questioning. Kristen Drury and Stephanie O'Brien presented in a ChemEd X Talk on April 21, 2021 and provided teachers with guidance on fostering student buy-in, student role formation, and POGIL implementation. Additionally, information was shared on how to assess students' participation in POGIL activities holistically and through individual examination of process skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem solving. You can watch the edited recording of their Talk here.

Whiteboarding in a Virtual Classroom with Melissa Hemling

On January 26, 2021, Melissa Hemling presented a ChemEd X Talk about “whiteboarding” in a hybrid or virtual classroom. Students collaborate in small groups on to digitally analyze data, create and modify models, and/or complete practice problems. Melissa shares how she uses the digital whiteboards to gauge student understanding and pinpoint misconceptions like she did pre-COVID. You can watch the edited recording of Melissa's Talk and access the document she shared during the presentation here.

A guided group inquiry lesson on coordination compounds and complex ions

Michael Morgan shares a lesson that he has used for many years that not only requires students to explain a topic that they have not been directly taught but also to develop explanations based on previous knowledge. He has used this lesson as a multiday “in-class” assignment and also as an “at-home” independent study. It works well in both scenarios with only minor revision. The lesson is based on Alfred Werner’s work on deducing the structures of coordination compounds.

NGSS-ify Alka-Seltzer Rocket Activity - With Virtual Options

In this lab students are given a film canister, a quantity of Alka Seltzer of their own choosing and any materials available in the room to investigate factors that affect the rate of reaction. They work with their groups to create CER boards and then the class engages in a Glow and Grow session. Tips for using this activity in a virtual setting are offered as well. 

Exploration of Gas Laws Using Atomsmith Online

Using the online simulation tool (Atomsmith Classroom Online) and the ADI framework students investigate the properties of gases, along with two gas laws. An ADI "whiteboard discussion" helps in getting students to really process what the results of experiments mean to us as chemists - and how this leads to expanding our understanding of matter. This activity lends itself to an online classroom.