Lack of literature on flipped lecture rooms

Compiling literature on flipped/inverted classrooms for higher education isn’t easy. A lot of returns are of the “I couldn’t believe my ears!” type blog, which is fine for what it is, but not an academic study. Yet more literature, typically of the Chronicle or Educause type, tends to say flipped classrooms are great, and they lead on to MOOCs (as in the case of this recent C&EN piece), with a subsequent discussion on MOOCs, or tie in flipped classrooms with Peer Instruction, with a discussion on peer instruction. In these cases, and especially so for PI, this is the intention of the…

The Application of Technology to Enhance Chemistry Education

Call for Papers Contributions are invited for a themed, peer-reviewed issue of CERP on The Application of Technology to Enhance Chemistry Education which is scheduled for publication Autumn 2013. Guest Editors: Michael K Seery and Claire McDonnell. Topics for contribution may include but are not limited to:  Blended learning to support ‘traditional’ instruction (e.g. online resources, wikis, blogs, e-portfolios) In-class technology (e.g. clickers, iPads or equivalent) Online learning (e.g. distance learning initiatives, online collaborative learning, active and interactive eLearning, computer simulations of practical work, modelling software for online learning) Cognitive considerations for online learning (e.g. designing online resources) E-assessment (e.g….

Showing Worked Examples in Blackboard Quizzes

I’ve been thinking of ways to include worked examples and hints in Blackboard VLE quizzes. Cognitive Load theory has something called the Worked Example effect, whereby learners who receive direct instruction in the form of worked examples perform better than those who don’t. The reason is attributed to providing novice learners with an approach to solving a problem that they can replicate, thus alleviating the working memory load while solving a problem. There’s some more on worked examples here. The question then was how to provide a worked example (or a hint, a slightly less informative way to guide students)…

8th Variety in Irish Chemistry Teaching Meeting – DIT 10th May

The Chemistry Education Research Team wish to invite you to the 8th Variety in Irish Chemistry Teaching Meeting which will be held in DIT Kevin St on Thursday 10th May 2012. The meeting is sponsored by the RSC Education Division Ireland. Programme and Call for Abstracts The aim of the meeting is to allow those teaching chemistry at third level to share “what works” – useful ideas and effective practice from their own teaching. The keynote speaker is Dr David McGarvey, University of Keele, who was the 2011 RSC Higher Education Teaching Award winner. A call for abstracts is now…

My experiences of teaching online: A case study

My paper on taking a module that was taught in class and moved online has been published in CERP (free to access). The paper aims to share my own experiences in teaching a module online so that others considering this approach might find some information of use. The paper is set against a background of what I consider to be a general disaffection for online teaching among staff and students. This is apparent from surveys by the DRHEA—which reports that the main use of VLEs is as content repositories; the UK HEA (pdf)—where students ranked “e-learning” as the least enjoyable…

Class Sizes and Student Learning

A recent discussion on an ALT email circulation raised the interesting question of whether there was a threshold for class sizes, above which student learning experience diminished. Unfortunately, what followed was lots of “in my experience” Higginbotham-esque replies (with the exception of details of an interesting internal survey at NUIG), despite the original query specifically requesting evidence-based information. A clackety-clack into Google Scholar throws up some interesting results on this topic. Unsurprisingly, the general trend is that increasing class size diminishes students’ educational experience, although the extent to which this happens seems to be luke-warm. There are two issues to…

Chemistry Education Research and Practice

I still remember the pleasant surprise of discovering that there was a journal dedicated to the teaching of chemistry in higher education. Sometime in late 2005, I Googled something about assessment in chemistry, and out came a result: “Assessment in Chemistry and the Role of Examinations“, a great paper questioning the value of our assessment system.  The same issue had an article “Experimenting with Undergraduate Practicals“, which was hugely influential in my own consideration of the role lab education. My love affair with University Chemistry Education—which would later become Chemistry Education Research and Practice after a merger in 2005—began. Early…

Implementation of Research Based Teaching Strategies

The traditional, almost-folkloric, based approach to teaching science is a stark contrast to the evidence-based research approach scientists consider in their everyday research. The quote by Joel Michael* highlights the contrast: As scientists, we would never think of writing a grant proposal without a thorough knowledge of the relevant literature, nor would we go into the laboratory to actually do an experiment without knowing about the most current methodologies being employed in the field. Yet, all too often, when we go into the classroom to teach, we assume that nothing more than our expert knowledge of the discipline and our…

Using Pre-Lecture Resources in your Teaching

Much of my study on educational research this year has focussed on Pre-Lecture Resources, working with Dr Roisin Donnelly at DIT’s Learning Teaching and Technology Centre and my colleague Dr Claire Mc Donnell. I’ve turned into something of an evangelist for pre-lecture resources, so in order to spread the good word, I have prepared this resource guide for others thinking of using a similar strategy. I’d love to hear from anyone who has considered this approach or is using a similar approach. The guide accompanies a presentation at the 12th Annual Showcase of Learning and Teaching Innovations, DIT, Jan 2011….

Teaching Fellowship Launch Presentation

The DIT 2010-2011 Teaching Fellowships were launched on 23rd September 2010, and each recipient of a Fellowship gave a presentation on the work they plan to do. It was really nice to see what others plan to do; there was a lot of variety and a lot of overlap at the same time. My presentation – the main thrust of which was summarised in another post – is embedded below. All of the presentations can be viewed from the LTTC website. The video is streamed from the HEAnet server using the Embedded Video plugin (for the information of any WordPress…