Session S34a (Monday, 2pm, Wartik 105)

P283: Virtual discussion section: Teaching problem solving skills using ''

David R. (Randy) Sullivan (University of Oregon, USA)

In an era of fiscal constraint of instructional budgets, some college and university chemistry departments have had to cut back on the use of the small discussion or recitation problem-solving sections that have been traditionally been used to supplement lecture sections in large enrollment general chemistry courses. When this happens, students may not have resources available to them to learn and practice the problem-solving skills that they need to succeed in a general chemistry course.  In cases such as this, appropriate technologies can be exploited to supplement lecture instruction and improve problem-solving skills in a cost-effective manner.

In this pilot program, an experienced chemistry instructor used the popular “” web-based live streaming video platform to deliver interactive problem-solving sessions to supplement lecture instruction and peer tutoring in a large enrollment, multi-section general chemistry course.  On the evening before each weekly on-line homework assignment was due, the instructor streamed a live audio/video feed to  Students from a pilot group of twenty students called or chatted in their questions and the instructor used the homework problems as a vehicle for teaching problem-solving and metacognitive skills.  Videos of the sessions were available for replay after the live sessions.

The program was independently evaluated using a written survey.  Results indicated that the program was effective and suggested changes that will guide the development of the program as it is upscaled to the section and course level.  This method could be useful for other colleges and universities as a mode of delivering interactive course components in a cost-effective manner.


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