Redesigning Curtin Chemistry
Daniel Southam, Mark Buntine and Simon Lewis
Department of Chemistry
VC Awards Video
Challenges
• A decline in students majoring in chemistry
• A growth in student numbers of 10% over the last five
years
– S...
Why change?
The setting
• Over the last five years we have been trialling a
number of active learning pedagogies
– Teaching methods de...
Existing curriculum
• The existing curriculum was chaotic, unwieldy,
and duplicative
– Before 2010: 23 first year chemistr...
Chaotic curriculum
Mainstream
Chemistry 101

Chemistry 102

Analytical 

Chemistry 111

Enabling
Chemistry 117

Analytical...
Slight less chaotic curriculum
Mainstream

Enabling

Chemistry 101

Chemistry 102

Chemistry 181

Chemistry 182

Chemistry...
Transforming Learning @ Curtin
A flipped classroom...
uses

...educational technology...
...and active learning...
to infl...
Process-oriented classroom
• A classroom environment in which students are
– actively engaged in improving key processes i...
Model pedagogy
Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning
An exploration of a
concept, application of
a theory or
experiment...
POGIL model

Moog, R. S. et al. In Chemists' Guide to Effective
Teaching; Pienta, N. J., Cooper, M. M., Greenbowe,
T. J., ...
Learning cycle

Karplus, K. & Thier., H.D. (1967). A New Look at Elementary School Science. Chicago: Rand McNally and Co.
...
Traditional v. inverted curriculum
Threshold Learning Outcomes
• TLOs define the minimum outcomes all bachelor
degree graduates must have , which for science...
Curriculum design
• Constructive alignment
– Informed by the TLOs

• Multi-faceted
– Concept: What is the concept, and its...
Example Learning Outcome
• Quantitative and qualitative chemical measurement,
including precision and accuracy of measurem...
Example Learning Outcome
• Quantitative and qualitative chemical
measurement, including precision and accuracy
of measurem...
Example Learning Outcome
• Quantitative and qualitative chemical
measurement, including precision and accuracy
of measurem...
New paradigm
Curriculum review framework
Active learning as a mechanism to engage
Intended
students in their learning in a supported wo...
Emerging evidence
• Participation:
– Both the F2F and online learning experiences are
heavily utilised

• Performance:
– A...
Acknowledgements
Dr Danny Bedgood, Charles Sturt
A/Prof Mario Zadnik, Curtin
A/Prof Kieran Lim, Deakin
Dr Gayle Morris, De...
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Prof. Simon Lewis, Curin University: Placing the student learning experience at the centre of everything we do

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Professor Simon Lewis, Director of Teaching and Learning, Department of Chemistry,
Curtin University delivered this presentation at the inaugural Student Experience conference in 2013. A quality student experience is a critical component when examining the attributes a university offers a prospective student. It is equally as important sector wide, in producing highly educated, well rounded and qualified individuals that make up the future of the national workforce. As a result, it is crucial for universities to assess not only ways they can improve their institution’s student experience but ways they can differentiation themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Factors that holistically impact student experience include the interconnections between student services, methods of course delivery and the use of technology along with all that this entails. The Inaugural Student Experience Conference will endeavour to address these complex and challenging issues within the context of the evolving Higher Education sector. For more information about the event, please visit the conference website http://www.informa.com.au/studentexperienceconference

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Prof. Simon Lewis, Curin University: Placing the student learning experience at the centre of everything we do

  1. 1. Redesigning Curtin Chemistry Daniel Southam, Mark Buntine and Simon Lewis Department of Chemistry
  2. 2. VC Awards Video
  3. 3. Challenges • A decline in students majoring in chemistry • A growth in student numbers of 10% over the last five years – Service taught – mostly first year • Transnational learning environment • An institutional drive towards a “flipped classroom” – 50% reduction in lectures by 2017 • A new Federal Government review framework – Threshold Learning Outcomes
  4. 4. Why change?
  5. 5. The setting • Over the last five years we have been trialling a number of active learning pedagogies – Teaching methods designed to get students actively participating in their learning – Our implementation was motivated by an Australian
 national project: Active Learning in University Science – Focus on first year science programs characterised by: • large lectures • didactic teaching methods • monocultural learning environments
  6. 6. Existing curriculum • The existing curriculum was chaotic, unwieldy, and duplicative – Before 2010: 23 first year chemistry units – 2010 – 2012: 14 first year chemistry units • Enacting real change was difficult • Being agile to changes around us was impossible • A new paradigm was needed
  7. 7. Chaotic curriculum Mainstream Chemistry 101 Chemistry 102 Analytical 
 Chemistry 111 Enabling Chemistry 117 Analytical 
 Chemistry 112 Chemistry 118 Chemistry 119 Analytical 
 Chemistry 114 Chemistry 127 Chemistry 128 Chemistry 121 Chemistry 122 Chemistry 141 Chemistry 131 Chemistry 123 Chemistry 124 Chemistry 187 Chemistry 142 Chemistry 144 Engineering 
 Chemistry 100 Chemistry 143 Chemistry 027 Chemistry 028
  8. 8. Slight less chaotic curriculum Mainstream Enabling Chemistry 101 Chemistry 102 Chemistry 181 Chemistry 182 Chemistry 142 Chemistry 144 Chemistry 187 Chemistry 184 Engineering 
 Chemistry 100 Intro to Pharm Chemistry 121 Chemistry 123 Chemistry 124 Chemistry 027 We want to lose this boundary Chemistry 028
  9. 9. Transforming Learning @ Curtin A flipped classroom... uses ...educational technology... ...and active learning... to influence ...the learning environment Strayer, Jeremy F. (2007), PhD Thesis, Ohio State
  10. 10. Process-oriented classroom • A classroom environment in which students are – actively engaged in improving key processes in order to improve their mastery of content and to develop higher order thinking skills • This describes the important aspects of our workshops
  11. 11. Model pedagogy Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning An exploration of a concept, application of a theory or experimental data is presented in a model or series of models The student is guided through the model by a set of questions allowing them to construct their own knowledge and test the knowledge in applications of the theory or concept www.pogil.org
  12. 12. POGIL model Moog, R. S. et al. In Chemists' Guide to Effective Teaching; Pienta, N. J., Cooper, M. M., Greenbowe, T. J., Eds.; Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2009; Vol. II, p 90.
  13. 13. Learning cycle Karplus, K. & Thier., H.D. (1967). A New Look at Elementary School Science. Chicago: Rand McNally and Co. Piaget, J. (1964). Part I: Cognitive development in children: Piaget development and learning. J. Res. Sci. Teach., 2, 176-186.
  14. 14. Traditional v. inverted curriculum
  15. 15. Threshold Learning Outcomes • TLOs define the minimum outcomes all bachelor degree graduates must have , which for science are: – Understanding Science – Scientific Knowledge – Inquiry and problem solving – Communication – Personal and professional responsibility Jones, S., Yates, B.J., Kelder, J., (2011), Learning and Teaching Academic Standards for Science, Australian Government, Office for Learning and Teaching.
  16. 16. Curriculum design • Constructive alignment – Informed by the TLOs • Multi-faceted – Concept: What is the concept, and its depth and breadth? – Context: How is this concept relevant to the student? – Process: What processes will the student develop as a result of attaining this learning outcome? • Aligned to a learning environment – Workshop, lecture or lab Biggs J. and Tang C., (2013), Teaching for Quality Learning at University: What the Student Does, Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.
  17. 17. Example Learning Outcome • Quantitative and qualitative chemical measurement, including precision and accuracy of measurement – Concept: Employ the principles of chemical measurement to both quantitatively and qualitatively determine chemical species in simple samples – Context: The purpose and limitations of chemical measurement will be explored by highlighting its role in everyday life and the breadth of techniques, methodologies and instruments available to perform analyses of relevant species. – Process: Selection of appropriate analytical tools, with an understanding of their role and limitations, to perform an investigation and interpret the results
  18. 18. Example Learning Outcome • Quantitative and qualitative chemical measurement, including precision and accuracy of measurement – Science TLO: “…selecting and applying practical and/or theoretical techniques or tools in order to conduct an investigation.” – Engineering TLO: “"Apply problem-solving, design and decision-making methodologies to develop components, systems and/or processes to meet specified requirements…"
  19. 19. Example Learning Outcome • Quantitative and qualitative chemical measurement, including precision and accuracy of measurement – Learning Environment: • Laboratory – Quantitative analysis experiments • Workshop – Activities on quantitative analysis, theoretical understanding (Beer’s Law) – Assessment: • Practical test
  20. 20. New paradigm
  21. 21. Curriculum review framework Active learning as a mechanism to engage Intended students in their learning in a supported workshop environment Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) Implemented adapted for this context and aligned to the learning outcomes Perceived Affective domain gains in motivation and attitude as a consequence of a social learning environment Achieved Cognitive domain gains in conceptual understanding as a consequence of engagement Treagust et al, eg: Mills and Treagust (2003) Aust J Eng Educ, 4 (3) 211
  22. 22. Emerging evidence • Participation: – Both the F2F and online learning experiences are heavily utilised • Performance: – Average marks: increased by 6 – 15% – Failure rates: decreased to 3 – 10% • Perception: – Meeting or managing diverse expectations during major change is proving challenging
  23. 23. Acknowledgements Dr Danny Bedgood, Charles Sturt A/Prof Mario Zadnik, Curtin A/Prof Kieran Lim, Deakin Dr Gayle Morris, Deakin A/Prof Simon Pyke, Adelaide A/Prof Adam Bridgeman, Sydney Prof Brian Yates, Tasmania Dr Michael Gardiner, Tasmania Academic, Sessional and 
 Professional Staff! Department of Chemistry Prof David Treagust! Venkat Vishnumolakala! Science and Mathematics 
 Education Centre ! Prof Renee Cole, Iowa Prof Vicky Minderhout, Seattle Prof Rick Moog, Franklin and Marshall Prof Suzanne Ruder, Virginia Commonwealth Developing leaders of change in the teaching of large university chemistry classes, Leadership for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (2008–2010)

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