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Published on December 10, 2007

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Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Digital Chemistry 1A: An Economic and Pedagogical Analysis of Technology Enhancements in a Large Lecture Course at UC Berkeley Diane Harley, Ph.D., Berkeley Multimedia Research Center Center for Studies in Higher Education University of California, Berkeley Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Two Year Project: Partially funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Partners: Implementation and Evaluation Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) Berkeley Multimedia Research Center (BMRC) College of Chemistry (UCB) Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Today: Briefly describe enrollment pressures we are facing in California in general, and at UCB in particular. Give you an overview of one experiment at UCB that has potential to address some of those pressures. Discuss the evaluation research we are conducting to determine effectiveness and cost of technology enhancements. Highlight some of the challenges we face in implementation, evaluation, and potential scaling. Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley California: Three-tiered Public Higher Education System California Community Colleges (CCC) “Open Door Public Colleges” California State University System (CSU) “Polytechnics”and “Teacher Colleges” University of California (UC) 10 campuses Elite, Public, Research Highly selective, Grants Ph.D. Mandated to admit top 12.5% of public high school graduates (Plus whole system of Private Colleges and Universities) Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley More than two million new full-time students expected to enroll in US public and private colleges and universities by 2010, referred to as Tidal Wave II (CPEC, 2000). The University of California (UC) ten-campus system faces an increased enrollment of almost 63,000 full-time students, (a 43 percent increase). UC Berkeley is being asked how it could absorb an additional 4,000 students by 2010. (An annual growth rate of 1.1 percent over the next 10 years (UC News and Communications, 2000). Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Options for accommodating influx of new UC students How can we serve more students, more effectively, and economically, i.e., without increasing teaching and support staff in large lecture courses? Suggestions include: Offering classes during the summer, Expanding regular enrollments during fall and spring semesters, and Using technology to expand on- and off-campus learning opportunities. Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Background: UC’s Use of Technology Enhanced Education UC efforts have been characterized as bottom-up efforts on the core campuses, and by more aggressive experimental and scalable work in the UC Extension units. The last year has seen a shift in institutional and faculty attitudes about ICTs at UC, including the UC Berkeley campus. Large scale experiments include those in: College of Engineering College of Chemistry Haas School of Business Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley The Chem1A evaluation project will describe the challenges of deploying, and evaluating the effectiveness and scalability, of a large-scale instructional technology experiment taking place at UC Berkeley. Approximately 2,100 students take Chemistry 1A each year. Over 100 teaching and support staff are required to teach the course. Salaries are the greatest expense in teaching the course. Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley The College of Chemistry would like to: Reduce the number of faculty teaching during the fall and spring semesters in order to have faculty available to teach in the summer session. Reduce the number of Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) teaching the course by one-third, to free up GSIs for the summer session. Reduce the student and GSI time spent in lab by 25%, thus increasing the use of lab rooms from two sections per day to three sections per day. Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley The College of Chemistry has a technology strategy that includes: Conversion of the lecture chalk board content to text-based PowerPoint slides Broadcast of video lectures, with synchronized and indexed slides, over the Internet for on-demand replay BMRC currently webcasts 13 lecture courses Deployment of on-line quizzes and pre-laboratory exercises Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Research Questions: Laboratories Will on-line prelab work and quizzes reduce the time GSIs spend on grading and administering quizzes? Will availability of on-line resources reduce faculty and GSI preparation time in subsequent semesters? Can laboratory sections be reduced from four to three hours if students complete prelaboratory exercises/quizzes on-line? Will completion of on-line prelab work improve the quality of student conceptual understanding of chemistry? Will the convenience of access to on-line materials improve student perceptions of the overall quality of the course? Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Research Questions: Lectures Will the availability of on-line lecture resources result in a different use of faculty and GSI time during lecture periods (e.g., different ratios of Q&A, demonstrations, discussions)? Will access to on-line lectures reduce attendance at lectures, thus allowing more students to be enrolled in the course? Does the ability to review lectures on-demand, and by topic, result in improved student understanding of the material and perceptions of the overall quality of the course? Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Methodology: Comparisons between treatment groups (access to pre-lab technology enhancements) and control groups (no access to pre-lab technology enhancements). Data collected on cost effectiveness and pedagogical effectiveness (e.g., quantitative and qualitative data on faculty and staff teaching and preparation activities, student performance, and student access of, and attitudes about, on-line laboratory and lecture material). Secondary goal: conduct a non-experimental evaluation on the integration and use of indexed on-line lectures. Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley The economic evaluation involves four activities: Specification of the archetypal approach to teaching in the two contexts (traditional UC classroom, technology enhanced UC classroom) Compilation of data on the costs of teaching in each of the two contexts Identification of relevant measures of output and the compilation of related data Analysis of costs Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley The pedagogical evaluation will measure: Student learning outcomes as measured by performance on course and lab quizzes and exams, laboratory reports, and a “carry-forward” experiment. Student attitudes regarding the course as determined by analysis of pre- and post- survey and focus group data. Course completion and retention data as measured by data collected on course completion and attrition. Additional data: faculty attitudes regarding development/ adoption, institutional decision-making, and adoption of the course materials at other institutions, including high schools. Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Challenges: Coordination An experiment of this scope and complexity requires significant technical resources and cross-campus collaborations. Mellon funds are primarily for evaluation activities at CSHE. Berkeley Multimedia Research Center (BMRC) and the College of Chemistry are providing technical and disciplinary expertise and execution. Additional technical support provided by other campus support units (SIMS, OMS, and ITP). Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Challenges: Evaluation Controlled Experiment Student consents Quiz delivery Working within the established structures of the course design and culture Assessing Real Costs Details of how staff spend time Determining costs for diffuse technical infrastructure Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Challenges: Scaling Will faculty in subsequent semesters of Chemistry 1A at UC Berkeley adopt these materials? Faculty at other UC campuses? Will faculty and teachers at universities and high schools access the information to enhance their Chemistry offerings? (e.g., to train students and Advanced Placement chemistry teachers)? Will Digital Chemistry1A be distributed by a private publisher, or other entity, thus generating revenue for the faculty member and the university? Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley:  Digital Chemistry at UC Berkeley Digital Chemistry Website http//socrates.berkeley.edu/~chem1a Berkeley Internet Broadcast System(BIBS) http://media2.bmrc.berkeley.edu/bibs/schedule.cfm Diane Harley, Ph.D. dianeh@uclink4.berkeley.edu

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