Tutorial classes have always been a core component of our first-year chemistry courses. They afford an opportunity that is rare in tertiary education; for one on one time with our students. The aim of our tutorials in Chemistry is to allow our students to deeply explore the concepts we have presented and to actively engage in their learning to overcome conceptual problems... or so we thought! So, what to do when an honest reflection and review of these classes indicated that very few of our intended outcomes were being met and that many students admitted to attending only because we took attendance?
Applying pedagogical frameworks of socialisation and problem-based learning, I sought to redesign our Chem A tutorial classes into weekly events that our students’ value, and our tutors enjoy teaching. I reflected upon the successes and failures of a pilot in 2017 to make improvements for the 1000 students currently participating in the class. Students now actively participate in small teams which they work with throughout the term. The number of tutorial problems have been significantly reduced and the numerical focus replaced with real world applications and integrated problem solving.
In this seminar I will take you on the journey of design and reflection and share the successes and lessons we’ve learnt so far from implementing this paradigm shift.
Dr Shannan Maisey is an Education Focussed Lecturer in the School of Chemistry where she is the 1st year Tutorial Coordinator and 3rd year Director. These roles have allowed for some exciting education innovation in past few years including, as a member of the chemical education research group, being awarded a large SEIF for the redevelopment of first year chemistry with the Threshold/mastery project.
To access the live stream link, access is via our Moodle site (self-enrolment key: unswconnections)