Associate Professor of Chemistry Shares His Experience with Online Learning

Associate Professor of Chemistry Shares His Experience with Online Learning

Aaron Van Dyke, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Faculty Chair, Sophomore Residential College Program

Dr. Aaron R. Van Dyke, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Faculty Chair of the Sophomore Residential College Program

Dr. Aaron R. Van Dyke, Associate Professor of Chemistry, shares his experience with online learning.

"Learning online does not mean replicating face-to-face experiences in a digital space. Rather, students and faculty use digital tools in the most effective way possible to learn together. A specific example of this comes from my Organic Chemistry II lecture course, a notorious subject among premed students. Organic chemistry is valued by medical schools because it cultivates metacognition – the ability to reflect and evaluate one’s own learning. Since transitioning online, I ask students to post one concept or topic they have “mastered” as well as one for which they seek “clarification.” Students post in a shared document within Quip (an app akin to a Google Doc). In response to students’ posts, I provide resources to resolve their questions. By sharing these metacognitive strengths and weaknesses in a living document, students discover 1) they are not alone in asking questions, and 2) they are able to draw on the content expertise of their peers."

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