Team 236

Applying Chemistry Content Using Web 2.0 : A Twist (not a Flip)

Chemistry students are required to take a high-stakes test to demonstrate their knowledge of essential standards. By using assessment data in the testing blueprint, chemistry teachers have developed a comprehensive course to prepare students for this high-stakes test. Although our students are scoring in the 93rd percentile and show mastery of the content, anecdotal and observational data in the classroom indicate students cannot apply the content to more complex problems. There is simply not enough time to:

  1. Teach the content to maintain the scores, and then
  2. Work with students to develop a deeper understanding of the interrelatedness and application of that content. 

Screencasting is an instructional technology strategy which greets a digital recording of a user's computer screen. In an attempt to  essentially "buy back" classroom time,  our project will focus on screen casting some of the more fundamental concepts. Because students will watch the screencasts at home and outside the regular classroom day, this will provide more classroom time for  problem-solving. However, our primary question is: is screencasting an effective instructional tool? That is, can screencasting technology provide students with the same level of instruction as in the classroom?

According to statewide assessment data, students have consistently demonstrated their knowledge of the chemistry standards. For the past two years I have been using screencasting as a means to support my classroom lectures. That is, up to this point, the screencasts have been "reruns" of some of the more difficult concepts I've covered during daily lectures -- I have never used them to supplant lectures. Still, informal polls of my classes shows that students are using them on a regular basis. Considering assessment data, in the past 2-3 years, my students' scores have shown a steady increase from year-to-year.