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Teaching in SL

Over the years, I have been incorporating more and more technology into my chemistry classes. Now that I retired in 2015, it is fun to look back at what I did. Here's a PP presentation I gave long ago. I am editing this in 2017.

Fall 2010 was my 3rd semester at trying to incorporate optional weekly review sessions into SL. Optional for a few reasons. (1) My classes are large; I teach two classes of about 250 students each, so obviously I cannot have everyone in SL at the same time. (2) I do have a few students under 18 - which is problematic. (3) Some students are very uncomfortable in SL. Here I'll be blogging about the trials/tribulations of encouraging students to get involved in SL. Here's the link to a video clip of a tour of my area:

Chemistry World is the island Kurt Winkleman and I developed to see if first year chem students can do labs in SL. This blog is not about that project.

You can visit to keep updated with our papers.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My thought process for this learning module...

I just had a nice chat with Chimera Cosmos in SL and we became friends.  Afterwords, I realize that I never explained why I'm spending so much time on the backside of making molecules using Hiro Sheridan's Rezzer and not having the students build them or work directly with the programs.  Teaching first year chem is a challenge and although I've been giving review sessions in SL, only a few students show.  Part of the reason is the steep learning curve for building in SL.  So I'm working to develop these VSEPR learning modules so that the emphasis is on learning VSEPR theory and not on learning more than the fundamentals of SL.  That's my ultimate goal.  I'll be trying it out in Spring 2011 since I teach off-sequence - Chem 101 in the spring.  Here's how I will incorporate this activity into the gradebook.

In my class - I give optional 3 writing assignments using Calibrated Peer Review as part of the syllabus (I'm the university administrator for this on-line program).  I plan on adding an SL assignment on VSEPR theory so that I have 4 assignments.  So their final score is based on 3 exams, 1 final, and a virtual 4th exam where I average the best 3 scores of their writing assignments (+ now their SL assignment) and their 3 exams.  The students like the ability to have some control in how their grades are determined.  As a note, I also have their on-line homework count as 100% or 20% of an exam.  I calculate their final grade both ways and give each one their better score.  I love how I can use an Excel spreadsheet to individualize student grades.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this will work.  I'll have to have an alternative for my students under the age of 18 since they won't be able to get into SL.

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