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Student-Centered Learning in the Chemistry Classroom

Student-Centered Strategies in the Chemistry Classroom
This paper contains more details about specific strategies for changing to a student centered classroom and the LecturePLUS learning system.

How to Say Less and Enjoy Teaching More
LecturePLUS is a Teaching Strategy that uses student-centered activities and assessment models to promote Participation, Learning, Understanding, and Success

Illustrate non-traditional teaching strategies in chemistry using PowerPoint modules to promote student-centered learning.
Demonstrate formative classroom assessment techniques to monitor learning and teaching.
Learn how to involve students in student-centered activities and assessment techniques using Power Point modules and notes.
A Teaching Strategy
LecturePLUS is a teaching and learning strategy that converts the traditional lecture format typically used in chemistry classes to a student-centered format.  Students learn through  PowerPoint mini-lectures, formative assessments, use of PowerPoint notes and activity sets for cooperative  learning. 
Drawback of Lecture Method
The lecture system is the teaching mode preferred by most science and math professors. Indeed, lecture is a comfortable format for many instructors and a non-threatening one for students. It is low cost, easy to control, and an excellent method for organizing course content. However, research tells us that during lecture students are not actively engaged with the topic, students don’t seem to listen for very long, retention is minimal, and does not seem to work for many student’s learning style.
In many of our classrooms, we often have a large gap before we test students on the material we discuss in our classes. After the first exam, we are surprised and disappointed by what they students did not learn. By using formative assessment in a chemistry class, we can assess what students are thinking and learning each day as a "work in progress" evaluation. There are many possibilities including "one-minute paper", "muddiest point", and "multiple-choice learning checks". After an assessment, an instructor can determine what students understand and what material needs more attention. In LecturePLUS, the instructor adapts to the needs of the class by adding another example, challenging thinking, or moving on to the next topic.
Dynamic Learning Environment
In a Lecture-PLUS learning environment, cooperative learning activities and formative assessment strategies are integrated in a mini-lecture format using Power Point modules. Such modules promote non-graded classroom assessments as well as ongoing peer instruction, which are strategies that provide instant feedback to both students and instructor during the class. The introduction of a student-centered classroom is an exciting way to put learning back in teaching while providing students with the tools for lifelong learning and success.

If you have questions or comments about LecturePLUS, please email me.

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