Friday, January 27, 2023 - 2:30pm

Abstract: From promoting diversity, to increasing student success, to just making class more fun, consciously creating a vibrant and supportive learning community can be a key pedagogical choice. I’ll use a year-long physical chemistry lab sequence as a case study in how a course can be structured to promote community. In this course, argumentation sessions (taken from the Argument Driven Inquiry framework) and a poster session promote student interactions and interdependence. A change in grading method that combines elements of specifications and ungrading focuses students on re-writing, develops metacognition, and encourages conversations while revising. Programming is also taught from a community orientation, with the result that all UMBC chemistry majors graduate with confidence in their programming abilities. Finally, as we continually adjust to the effects of COVID on student mental health, a focus on community-building can be an important intervention.


Marie van Staveren


University of Maryland, Baltimore County