Andy Carr

Project Description

I plan on transforming my section of organic chemistry 221 into a “Flipped Class”. In this pedagogy, student view lectures that have been posted online by the professor prior to coming to class. This gives the students the opportunity to go at their own pace and can view the lectures as many times as they need to gain mastery of the material. An added benefit of this model is that students have access to lectures that they miss due to illness and college related activities. They can either work ahead or catch up as time allows without having to try and get notes or try and schedule a lengthy appointment with the professor.

Since the basic lecture material is covered by the students outside of class, class time then can be spent going over the concepts at a higher level, and providing students time to work problems in class with the professor their to facilitate the students learning. Traditionally time to work problems in class is cut out so content can be covered.

Studies presented at the resent American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Dallas (March, 2014) clearly indicate that students typically score a half to one full letter grade higher in a flipped classroom, have better scores on standardized ACS and have lower drop rates from the course.

It is my hope that by instituting a flipped class in organic chemistry, I can observe similar trends in student performance and retention in the class.

Additional Funding

In order to flip my class I will need routine access to:

  • a digital camcorder capable of saving files in mp4, tripod, battery, power adaptor, memory cards-2 ($420)
  • a high capacity external hard drive ($180, 4TB)
  • wireless microphone ($150)

videos will be edited by imovie which is on the mac or a similar package.

2 thoughts on “Andy Carr”

  1. I have succesfully completed my first run of chem 221 with the flipped model. Over the course of the semester I learned how to edit videos and compress them so our server (moodle) could handle the large number of videos. Overall this has been a very satisfying project for me and for my students. Over 70% of the students in my section thought that learned much more or somewhat more than they would have in a traditional lecture. Many students have stated they liked viewing the lectures at their own pace instead of frantically taking notes during lecture. Besides student opinion, I had other markers of success. I had the lowest DFW rate in my career. I only had two students not complete the course and only two students not earn a C- or better. I started with 27 students and 23 moved on to second semester organic chemistry. Typically organic chemistry has had a DFW rate of 30% and as high as 56%. Grades were slightly higher than they have been in the past but not as a significant improvement as may have been expected given claims from other institutions. Since my students seemed to be benefiting from the videos and they were sharing them with their friends in other sections, I decided to make the videos available to the other sections of chem 221. So in total my videos were watched by approximately 80 students last semester. At the end of the semester students wanted to know which section of chem 222 I was teaching so they could make sure to say in the sections with the videos. I told them there may not be videos. This statement actually caused several students to beg and plead for me to continue making videos for chem 222. I was inundated by requests from students that were not even in my current section for me to continue the videos. I have never had students petition so strongly for anything like this other than a passing grade.

    As part of the next iterations of the course I plan on using the quiz feature in Moodle to keep track of student understanding of the videos/lecture material, and linking homework problems with the lectures better.

    Over all I think this has been a great experience for me and my students.
    I plan on Flipping chem 222 and making the videos accessible to all organic chemistry students.


Leave a Comment