So, I know it has been a while.. I am sure all of you have wondered whether I got too busy.. or worse.. gave up. And if I am to be honest with you.. I almost did give up. Don't get me wrong, 2016/2017 was an awesome year and classes were going great.. but then I hit my first teaching wall in 2017/2018. It seemed like I was constantly butting heads
What went wrong?
While I know that student perceptions often do not align with actual student learning (as demonstrated in the published CAT analysis of CH/BI308 in the Fall of 2015); I was still concerned by the drop in my evaluation numbers from the Fall of 2017 compared to Fall 2016. I know my students are learning and performing better as critical thinkers after completing my courses; however, it is important to me that my students are also aware of their own growth. So, over the following year I did a deep dive into the literature on flipped teaching and active learning and discovered some tools and strategies that I employed in both my CH101 and CH/BI308 courses.
Climbing over the wall..
“In-class activities are usually thought-provoking and engaging”
“The flipped classroom worked great!”
“She has done especially well on keeping everyone on track and conducing a supportive environment in and out of class. Office hours with her were very helpful and made me feel a lot better about myself in the course”
“The flipped classroom setting brought a different approach to my style of learning from what I have been used to at BSC. With this being said, my professor did a great job of utilizing moodle to upload lecture videos and other outside resources for us to use in the class to help improve how we learned the needed information. Also the help with concepts inside of class was much needed to really hammer in the small detail.”
“This is probably my favorite class I have ever taken at BSC! I usually hate flipped classrooms, but the way the lecture videos and class workbooks were organized actually enhanced the way I learned in this course"
“(My professor did well in) giving plenty of different methods of learning. The videos were great”.
“I like how realistic she is about exams, homework, and time. I like how concepts were connected and learned how to critically think better.”
“(My professor did well in) using student feedback and interpret and incorporate plausible suggestions to class”
“(My professor did well in) providing excellent resources for learning and picking activities that foster learning”.
“Dr. Hayden has been really good at providing a lot of different ways and opportunities to learn everything. She is really good at explaining everything and offering help when we don’t understand something.”
“I feel the most prepared for exams outside of studying than I have for any other class. I really like the sapling as well”
“She’s given us every opportunity to do well! We can use our books for exams, the video lectures are informative, and the activities gave the information context. A reason for why we learn this information”.
“This course was very interesting and I liked that the tests were not solely based on memorization and arbitrary facts but rather an understanding of the materials/processes”
“Yes! (I found the textbook helpful). Pictures and diagrams helped. It was nice using it on exams.”
“Yes, this was the most helpful textbook I’ve ever had for a class. Especially when preparing for the exams.”
“I like that Dr. Hayden is open to trying new things. Her point that the workforce is open book so our tests are has been really helpful and helped me learn how to use my resources better. I also really loved the hands-on activities.”
“(My professor did well in) testing our knowledge through reasoning and critical thinking.”
“Using the textbook during exams greatly helped my comprehension of the material, rather than simply regurgitating information.”
“I think focusing on critical thinking and understanding how processes can be changed/affected is more important than memorizing.”
“Dr. Hayden was always so positive and helpful when we asked many questions. She encouraged us to do our best and believed in us.”
“Thank you for being so positive and helpful everyday in class and just when I stop by your office.”
“The critical thinking aspect I think will be very beneficial for my future and the classroom is always fun and welcoming environment.”
“I just wanted to thank you as a professor and as a person. You’ve been very kind to me and sometimes it’s a relief to see that in other people, you treat everyone like a friend and it really meant a lot to me... I just wanted to say that I’m definitely going to remember the way you taught your classes and the manner in which you did that.”
“I really appreciated your comments that you left on exams after the second exam because I did very poorly and reassurance is very refreshing and a rare thing to hear...”