Peer-Led Team Learning: General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry

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9780130283610: Peer-Led Team Learning: General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry

This book uses a supportive format which encourages questions and discussions that lead to conceptual understanding. This comprehensive, versatile book covers measurement and unit conversions, nuclear chemistry, chemical bonds, stoichiometry, gases, solution, liquids and solids, acids and bases, oxidation, nomenclature, lipids, enzymes, and much more. For anyone interested in General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry.

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From the Inside Flap:

Preface to the Peer-Led Team Learning Series

The Workshop Chemistry Project was an exploration, development, and application of the concept of peer-led team learning in problem-solving Workshops in introductory chemistry courses. A pilot project was first supported by the National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education, in 1991. In 1995, the Workshop Chemistry Project was selected by NSF/DUE as one of five systemic initiatives to "change the way introductory chemistry is taught." In the period 1991-1998, the project grew from the initial explorations at the City College of New York to a national activity involving more than 50 faculty members at a diverse group of more than 30 colleges and universities. In 1998-1999, approximately 2500 students were guided in Workshop courses by 300 peer leaders per term. In Fall 1999, NSF chose the Workshop Project for a National Dissemination Grant to substantially broaden the chemistry participation and to extend the model to other SMET disciplines, including biology, physics, and mathematics.

Peer-Led Team Learning — A Guidebook is the first of a series of five publications that report the work of the Project during the systemic initiative award (1995-1999). The purpose of these five books is to lower the energy barrier to new implementations of the model. The Guidebook is a comprehensive account that works back and forth from the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the model to reports of "best-practice" implementation and application. Three other books provide specific materials for use in Workshops in General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry. One book in the series, On Becoming a Peer Leader, provides materials for leader training.

The collaboration of students, faculty, and learning specialists is a central feature of the Workshop model. The project has been enriched by the talents and energy of many participants. Some of their names are found throughout these books; many others are not identified. In either case, we are most grateful to all those who have advanced the model by their keen insight and enthusiastic commitment.

We also acknowledge, with pleasure, the support of the National Science Foundation, NSF/DUE 9450627 and NSF/DUE 9455920. Our work on the second NSF award was skillfully guided by our National Visiting Committee: Michael Gaines (chair), Joseph Casanova, Patricia Cuniff, David Evans, Eli Fromm, John Johnson, Bonnie Kaiser, Clark Landis, Kathleen Parson, Arlene Russel, Frank Sutman, Jeffrey Steinfeld, and Ronald Thornton. We value their advice and encouragement. The text of the Guidebook was repeatedly processed by Arlene Bristol, with exceptional skill and remarkable patience. Finally, we appreciate the vision and commitment of John Challice and Prentice Hall to make this work readily available to a large audience. Introduction to General, Organic and Biological Chemistry

Peer-led team learning is a unique approach to curriculum design in college science and mathematics. In this manual, we provide written materials to be used in a general, organic, and biological chemistry course. Most institutions teach this as a one-term or one-year survey course for nursing, wildlife biology, medical technology, environmental studies, nutrition, physical therapy, or other health science majors. We have attempted to provide more than the minimum number of units necessary for weekly meetings in a full-academic-year course. We believe that the units are representative of a standard course and are appropriate in the order presented, but you may wish to supplement our materials with your own, either by modifying the existing materials or by adding new material. We encourage you to pick and choose the units most appropriate for your course, using them in any order that is suitable. We have designed the units to the best of our ability to be flexible enough to fit into a wide variety of curriculum designs.

The units have been developed to be consistent with the philosophy of the project. The questions are designed to be answered by peer-led teams, not individuals. A group of six to eight students under the guidance of a peer leader should interact to develop solutions to the questions posed. Answers are not provided to keep the emphasis during the session on the method by which the question is answered rather than on the answer itself. We hope to encourage students to analyze, debate, and discuss the concepts underlying each question and also learn to decide the level of confidence they have when coming to a conclusion. In science, there are no absolute answers-only varying degrees of truth. This project is partly designed to convey the nature of scientific inquiry.

The level of confidence we have in the validity of the peer-led team learning approach increases with each new piece of evidence as we continue to assess the model. Our data strongly show that students learn more, have better attitudes toward learning, and have improved communication skills as a result of being actively engaged in the process of solving problems. We also believe that it is critical to build students' teamwork skills, as this is the model of the present and the future in the workplace. What better way to work on developing these teamwork skills than to have students work in teams?

Our deepest gratitude goes out to the students with whom we have worked during the development of these materials. The input of many of our students has led to numerous changes to improve the book. Two students in particular have made extensive contributions to the manuscript. Our thanks go to Dawn Patitucci and Jeff Trautmann for their valuable insight into learning and their knowledge of the subject. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation for their assistance in funding the project.

We welcome your comments, suggestions, and corrections. We also would appreciate input from your students and leaders. Please feel free to write directly on a copy of the pages and mail them to us. Comments should be sent to the senior author: Pratibha Varma-Nelson, Science Department, Saint Xavier University, 3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago, IL 60655, Voice: (773) 298-3526, Fax: (773) 779-9061, Email: varmanelson@sxu To the Instructor

We have sequenced the curriculum so that the peer-led team learning Workshop follows after the lecture and the initial student studying of the material in the textbook. We therefore expect students to be prepared with a basic knowledge of the concepts before coming to the Workshop. To encourage students to be prepared for their Workshop experience, we have found that administering a brief quiz at the beginning of the period helps students understand that they should have a fundamental knowledge of the concepts before participating in the Workshop.

Many years of project evaluation, led by Leo Gafney, have been distilled into six components that are critical to the success of the peer-led team learning model. Although we encourage you to read the evaluation chapter of the Guidebook (available from your Prentice Hall representative), we summarize these components here because of their importance.

The organizational arrangements need to promote learning. These include the size of the group, quality of space, length of time, noise level, and availability of teaching resources. The Workshop materials are challenging at an appropriate level and are integrated with the other course components. They must be intended to encourage active learning, and they must work well in collaborative learning groups. The peer leaders are students who have successfully completed the course. They are well trained and closely supervised, with emphasis on knowledge of the Workshop problems, teaching/learning strategies, and leadership skills for small groups. The faculty teaching the courses are closely involved with the peer-led team learning Workshops and the peer leaders. The peer-led team learning Workshop sessions are integral to the course and coordinated with other elements of the course. The institution, at the highest levels of administration, and at the departmental level, encourages innovative teaching and provides sufficient logistical and financial support. To the Workshop Leader

Congratulations on being selected for this important role! You will undergo training at your institution, which is of utmost importance in your development as a Workshop leader. We would like to add a few suggestions that have been formulated as a result of our experiences.

Rehearse the Workshops with other leaders before meeting students, working through all the problems. Keep the focus of your team on how to get to answers rather than the answers themselves. Many students in introductory courses fixate on the answer, often without understanding the principles and concepts that are at the heart of the question. The approach to problem solving is of the utmost importance. Almost all chemistry problems are word problems. Be sure that students understand all the terminology and the quest

From the Back Cover:

The Workshop Project is a collaboration of teachers, learning specialists and students that develops and implements a Peer-Led Team Learning model of teaching science. Students who have done well in the course are selected and trained for leadership roles. These peer leaders guide the work of teams of 6-8 students to solve carefully structures problems in weekly Workshop sessions.

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