This fall, UAF’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry debuted its asynchronous online organic chemistry series with labs. There’s a reason this has not been done before: It requires an enormous amount of planning. But we’re doing it, and with some of the wisdom shared here, you might think about taking your lab course completely online as well.
In celebration of Research and Creative Activity Day on April 9, here are some ways to get online undergraduate students involved in research and creative projects, and how to involve yourself as a mentor.
The early immersion approach gets students involved in the research process as early as possible. Students are able to conceptualize, design, conduct and disseminate research faster when included from the beginning.
A strong laboratory component is at the heart of any science program, but it is also one of the most challenging features to do effectively at a distance. As more science courses in higher education are being redesigned to move online, there is growing interest in successfully handling required practical components such as teaching laboratories and field work.
Interactive video provides an opportunity to merge both instructional and exploratory elements of learning. By employing both visual and auditory elements, interactive video enhances both retention and reinforcement.
Concept comprehension is problematic in intro STEM courses. Digital interactive simulations are an innovative way to enhance student learning.
We tend to think that lab courses must march students through a well-rehearsed set of steps. After the experiment is performed, and the data gathered and presented, students submit a lab report with an error analysis which provides an opportunity to explain why the results deviated from theoretical predictions. This gives you, the instructor plenty to assess. The real question is: Are you measuring what you want with your lab activity assessment?
Adding transdisciplinary activities in your course may help engage and motivate students to be more successful. Making content relevant to a variety of discipline areas encourages students to be well-rounded and open to new ideas, skills they can take to any classroom and to the workplace. This week’s tip continues the discussion in considering a STEAM curriculum.
Two recent studies from the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the National Academy of Sciences highlight the need to address a more integrative curricular approach to improve competencies desired by employers. In this Teaching Tip, we take a brief look at these two reports and invite faculty to join the discussion on how integration of scientific, technical and liberal arts fields can work to enhance post-graduation success.