Chemistry for Allied Health and Nursing Students: An

Chemistry for Allied Health and
Nursing Students:
An Integrated Approach
Dr. Rosa Rivera-Hainaj
Dean, Division of Science and Mathematics
Lorain County Community College
Status of the Chemistry classroom (or
STEM classroom, for that matter)
O Lecture is still the predominant form of instruction in the
science classrooms.
O Seymour and Hewett (1997) have shown, poor teaching
practices in college STEM courses appear to lie at the
heart of some of these problematic trends.*
*Linking Evidence and Promising Practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Undergraduate
Education . A Status Report for The National Academies National Research Council Board of Science Education by James
Fairweather, Michigan State University.
O This instructor-centered approach is opposite to the
student-centered instruction being promoted by
many stakeholders, including Achieving the Dream
and Completion By Design programs.
O There are many innovations used in the classroom
by innovative faculty: white board, ELMO, text
messages, clickers, LMS, etc.
O However, most efforts are focused on the use of
lecture material ONLY, without contextualization.
What can be done to help students
understand and use Chemistry and be
successful in the course?
O The key word is INTEGRATION!
O Several universities and community colleges have
taken the approach of integrating the lecture and
laboratory in the general chemistry course (Duke
University and Maricopa Community College, to name
O Although the concept may not be new, it does take
thinking outside the box with regards to teaching
space and course scheduling.
At Lorain County Community College…
O Allied Health and Nursing students must take
Chemistry 161, the first part of the General, Organic
and Biochemistry (GOB) course sequence. This
course is General Chemistry.
O Some students, especially those working towards the
BSN, will then have to complete the GOB sequence.
O Chemistry 161 is considered one of
the gatekeeper courses at LCCC,
hindering student progress and
credential completion.
What has been done?
O At the moment we have four platforms for
course delivery:
O In person – traditional
O Online
O Blended
O In person – integrated
O The availability of diverse teaching platforms for our
GOB course has increased the success of our
O Faculty plays a fundamental role in the success of
students, and being open to explore different
modalities of teaching is a major aspect of the
O Planning for diversity in teaching is not easy, it must
also account for the reality that individuals do not
all learn in the same way, and any group of students
will include a variety of approaches to learning.
How can I re-design my course to
become an integrated one?
O A few things need to be determined before making
any major changes:
O Learning space selection – lab space with “lecture”
capability OR classroom space with “laboratory”
O Course schedule – a non-traditional time block would
be needed. Gone are the lectures 3X (or 2X) a week
and once a week lab 2-3 hours long.
O Faculty selection – faculty needs to be able to engage
students and be able to make the necessary
transitions from lecture to hands-on exercises.
Course Material Re-Design
O We will work now through the re-design of
one chapter of the course.
O Topic: Chemistry, Matter and Measurement
O Associate Lab: Solids and Liquids Density;
Specific Gravity; Lung Volume
O The goal is to combine these discussion
topic and the associate lab into a
continuum, allowing students to apply
learned/presented concepts right away.
O What is chemistry?
O Scientific Method – hands-on activity
O Classification of Matter
O States of matter experiment – phase changes
O Measurements
O Measurements and Health Careers
O Significant Figures – Math Review
O SI units
O Dimensional Analysis – Density, temperature
Let’s get to work!
Round the room…
Closing Remarks and Next Steps
Dr. Rosa E. Rivera-Hainaj
Dean, Division of Science and Mathematics
Lorain County Community College
[email protected]

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