Using the Universal Design for Learning framework to design curricula that supports all learners
University of Central Florida
The chemistry education community has focused on student-centered, active learning strategies to develop research-based practices to support student learning. However, some sub-groups of learners have not been fully incorporated in the development of and research on such teaching practices. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides a framework for developing flexible teaching strategies and materials that supports learners at all ends of the ability spectrum. This framework provides a set of three guiding principles and thirty-one checkpoints for designing courses to be supportive of, and accessible to, all learners. This presentation will outline how the UDL framework can be used to design and/or modify classroom activities and assessments to improve accessibility. Specifically, multiple means of representation, multiple means of action and expression, and multiple means of engagement. Federal legislation requires equitable access to education for all students. One manner in which we can support individuals with disabilities is by considering the broad range of needs for all learners. By modifying or redesigning existing class activities, we can better address all students' needs.
Initial Results Correlating Atmospheric Composition to Students' Progression Through the Learning Process
Brian Butts, Taylor Duffy, Stephanie Rodriguez, Michael Hampton
Department of Chemistry, University of Central Florida
This presentation will cover the initial results from a study relating changes in atmospheric composition in a lecture hall during class to the progression of students through the learning process. The learning process includes a number of steps that involve various emotions. By definition, emotions cause activation of the autonomic nervous system that, in turn, will cause changes in metabolism. As a result, the concentrations and identities of the volatile compounds emitted by the students should be altered. The composition of the classroom’s atmosphere was determined by placing CO2 and total volatile organic compound (VOC) sensors at the air return vent, and the events occurring throughout the lecture were recorded. Short-term variations in CO2 and VOC concentrations were observed and correlations between those changes and particular events in class have been identified.
Implementing a Circular Economy Paradigm: Sustainable Introductory Laboratories
Dr. Scott L. Wallen, Laura Wemple, Brent Collins, Troy Kelly and Cole Rittenhouse
Florida Polytechnic University
The design of laboratory experiments in a typical general chemistry laboratory curriculum is not based on sustainable practices, such as using renewable starting materials and reusing any hazardous wastes generated. Using a circular economy paradigm we have designed a laboratory that maintains the pedagogical requirements for engineers and scientists taking introductory chemistry while at the same time integrating experiments where the products/wastes of one experiment are the starting materials for another experiment. This not only reduces costs and waste generated but provides a valuable opportunity to teach aspiring engineers and scientists a sustainable approach in what is often their first laboratory experience. The talk will focus on this concept that won the Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association’s (CSHEMA) Innovation award in 2016. Specific experiments and reuse of materials in nanotechnology laboratory experiments that have been designed considering sustainable practices, green chemistry and based on the circular economy paradigm will be presented.
Incorporating Peer-reviewed Research Journal Articles into Organic and Biochemistry Classes
Rose Mary Stiffin, PhD
Florida Memorial University
The benefit of introducing undergraduate students to research has been reported in a plethora of education and scientific journals. Although the integration of research with teaching at a teaching institution is beneficial to both the faculty member and the student, often the faculty member may be overburdened with teaching loads. How then can research be introduced as a means of developing the skills mentioned, such as hypothesis formation, data/statistical analysis, and methodology?
The purpose of this presentation is to introduce students to scientific research in two courses, namely Organic (I and II) and Biochemistry. We do this by acquiring peer-reviewed scientific journal articles from any of the Free Access journals, in any biochemical/biological area of study. The choices are limited only to accessibility of article and number of students per class.
An assessment tool is used as well as allowing extra points during the Q&A period of other classmates’ presentations to determine their final grade for the paper presentation. Thus, the use of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals provide students exposure to research, which leads to their developing a deeper understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge. The PowerPoint presentation will also show that the presentations provide a low-barrier and unattainable laboratory resource gateway for students to enter research (seeking and obtaining internships, Senior Projects, and entrance into graduate school in the science-related disciplines).
Materials Science and Engineering Research Perspective within the Functional Materials and Manufacturing Institute REU Program at University of South Florida
John N Kuhn
University of South Florida
Functional materials are prevalent throughout the modern world and are constant reminders of advances from engineering. Thus, functional materials research with a mindset toward application/manufacturing is an outstanding topic to engage emerging researchers such as high school students, undergrads, and K12 teachers. This is exactly what is done at the Functional Materials and Manufacturing Institute (FMMI) at University of South Florida (USF) through the Research Experience for High School Students, Undergraduates and Teachers (REHSS, REU, and RET) programs. Materials science and engineering itself is in the process transitioning from the past ways of separate topics (e.g., metallurgy, ceramics, etc) to a modern mindset that includes emphases on hard and soft matter, bio-materials, and nano-materials, unified by an atomistic-level materials perspective. With this mindset, we postulate that materials research is entering discipline unspecific mindset. That is, researchers on materials science and engineering projects self-select based on interests which are independent of academic training. This hypothesis will be tested by analyzing the correlation between academic major and department of the research advisor for ~ 150 applicants to the NSF-site REU program at the USF FMMI. REU applicants are mainly from science (chemistry and physics) and engineering (chemical, mechanical, biomedical, materials, and electrical) disciplines, and are asked to rank three projects of interest among the potential projects proposed by faculty in similar fields. In this paper, the trends between disciplines for the top and top three ranked projects of the applicants will be discussed. Case studies for REU participants will be discussed for illustrations in which the disciplines between REU and faculty are similar and dissimilar.
Closing Remarks and Discussion
Deborah Bromfield Lee
Florida Southern College
In this session, we will wrap up the papers with an invitation for discussion and call for collaborations.