School Seminar: Associate Professor Erica Smith; University of New England
Friday, 28 May 11:00am – 12:00pm
This seminar will be delivered via Zoom – Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom link and password.
Speaker: Associate Professor Erica Smith; University of New England
Host: Dr Stephen George-Williams
Assessment and curriculum design to improve learning outcomes, engagement and flexibility in diverse first year chemistry cohorts
Abstract: At the University of New England, over half of our first year chemistry students study online. Most of our online students also work and have family responsibilities. The task of teaching chemistry online, improving engagement, and supporting our students to become independent learners is something we have grappled with for many years. We also cannot stream our first year students by degree program or current level of achievement. In particular, effective academic support (e.g., Socratic teaching) for online students is extremely time consuming for academics. This seminar will describe an online assessment designed to incorporate the human element of teaching in an automated online assessment, to simultaneously improve content knowledge and skills and self-learning skills, and reduce the load on academics. I will also discuss the development of a modular curriculum for our undergraduate chemistry courses designed to increase study flexibility, student engagement, learning and graduate outcomes, student retention, and accessibility.
Bio: Associate Professor Erica Smith is a computational chemist and award-winning educator: RACI Chemistry Educator of the Year – 2017, Australian Award for University Teaching – 2016, and UNE Excellence in Teaching Award – 2016. Erica is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has over 20 years of experience in teaching chemistry in Australia and the USA, with extensive experience in online and distance learning and teaching. Her main interest is development of methods for effective student support and building self–efficacy in highly diverse student cohorts. Erica is the Chair of the RACI Chemistry Education Division and Chair of the University of New England Curriculum Committee. Erica also has several years’ experience working in chemical based industries in Europe and Australia.