As a undergraduate-focused department, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can improve our teaching and develop new improvements to our curriculum. We have been recently incorporating a variety of changes that we wanted to highlight.
First of all, seven of the current 15 full time chemistry faculty members have in the past 3-4 years applied for and received the DePaul Online Teaching Series (DOTS) training to become successful facilitators of online learning. All seven have since taught hybrid and/or fully online or flipped-classroom courses. Among the courses taught as hybrid are CHE130 – General Chemistry I (Dr. Carey Southern), CHE 132 – General Chemistry II and CHE134- General Chemistry III ( Dr. Quinetta Shelby), CHE 204 – Analytical Chemistry (Dr. Wendy Wolbach), CHE 330 – Capstone (Dr. Jennifer Meyer), CHE 346 – Principles of Biochemistry (Dr. Lihua Jin), and CHE470 – Molecular Dynamics (Dr. Rick Niedziela). Courses that have been taught fully online include CHE 202 (Dr. Wolbach) and CHE 346 (Dr. Jin). CHE 342 – Biochemistry II was also recently taught in a flipped-classroom format by Dr. Justin Maresh.
In addition, several of these faculty have also added online components to some of their in-person courses to boost student learning. Other faculty members who have not received the DOTS training such as Drs. Kyle Grice, Paul Vadola and Graham Griffin have also created online materials for their general or organic chemistry students with very positive feedback from the students.
Dr. Southern and a student worker also worked over summer 2015 to create materials for students who are preparing for the Chemistry Placement Test (CPT). Dr.Southern applied for and received a competitive QIC grant for that effort.
At the masters level, Dr. French recently created a new class focused on science education, which we highlighted earlier in the catalyst.
We are always working on improving and advancing our curriculum and we look forward to great advances in the future as the landscape of education continues to change!