General chemistry is a course that many students find challenging. Three projects explore how we can support students by examining their actions, understanding their perspectives, and offering structured support. In an effort to assist student learning in large lecture courses, a wide array of study materials and resources are made available by instructors, teaching assistants, and academic support services. How can we know if students use them? A quantitative analysis of four metacognitive surveys measured how ~400 general chemistry students used and planned to use study resources over the course of the quarter. While the goal of these surveys was to encourage student reflection and study planning before exams, responses provide insight into students’ learning practices. A mixed-methods analysis of follow-up surveys focused on students’ perspectives and use of LectureCapture videos and the role that recorded lectures play in supporting students’ academic work. The results offer an interesting foundation for the broad implementation of recorded lectures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, a seminar course developed specifically to support students during the pandemic – with a curriculum focused on planning, reflection, and wellness – demonstrates a successful instance of supporting students in their academic and personal pursuits.
Julia M. Chamberlain is an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Chemistry Department at the University of California Davis. She conducts research in Chemistry Education and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and is motivated by the questions, “Why is learning chemistry hard, and how can we make it more accessible for students?” Her projects at UC Davis focus on understanding students’ study practices in General Chemistry and the contributions of undergraduate Learning Assistants as facilitation partners in discussion sections. She has studied collaborative learning environments and teaching practices, and the use of education technology and interactive simulations to support student learning and engagement.