Transforming Undergraduate Stem Education Through Development Of Novel Cyberinfrastructure For General Chemistry Elearning

Project Details

Description

This 24-month, TUES-Type1 project at Rutgers University New Brunswick is developing a novel cyberinfrastructure resource that provides General Chemistry 1 and 2 students an on-line environment for interactive, self-guided development of analytic problem solving skills. Known as GCeLS, for General Chemistry eLearning System, the project is organizing relational databases around a 'critical skills network' that serves as a central web connecting all elemental problem-solving steps. GCeLS is being developed to deliver custom exercises with tunable levels of difficulty and breadth of required skills. The interactive environment is incorporating deep feedback mechanisms through hints, guided solutions, and teaching modules. GCeLS is also providing a mechanism to track student data that can be used to assess mastery both by an individual student and by the instructor. The system is being engineered to allow instructors detailed control over problem delivery for either on-line homework assignments or to be used as a personalized study tool. By using an anytime, anywhere electronic resource to enable students to master commonly encountered challenges in General Chemistry, the project is enabling instructors to use limited face-to-face time with students to develop more deeply, the engaging concepts and challenges in chemistry. The enhanced classroom interactions with students is leading to a better educational experience of students in General Chemistry, and is leading to increased success, better retention, and more STEM majors. The transformational resource being developed by the project can be utilized by many institutions and even adapted to other disciplines. The project's evaluation is focusing on the impact GCeLS has on both student learning of and attitudes towards chemistry, and the nature of faculty instruction, and will have up to 120 students in each of the treatment and paired control groups. Pre- and post-test scores on select content areas and final exams results are being used to document impact on student learning of course content as well as degree of knowledge and skills transfer to other areas. SALG (Student Assessment of Learning Gains) surveys are used to assess changes in students' attitude towards chemistry. Pre- and post-surveys as well as structured interviews are informing the project about how faculty use the information provided by GCeLS to inform their instruction and student office hour visits.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/15/136/30/15

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

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