ENGAGING SCIENCE STUDENTS WITH HANDHELD TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS BY RE-VISITING THE THAYER METHOD OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
Julia Paredes, Richard L. Pennington, David P. Pursell, Joseph C. Sloop, Mai Yin Tsoi
Organic chemistry instructors integrate handheld technology and applications into course lecture and lab to engage students with tools and techniques students use in the modern world. This technology and applications enable instructors to re-visit the Thayer Method of teaching and learning to create an updated method that works with 21st century students. The Thayer Method is based on the premise that students are willing and capable of making substantial preparation before coming to class and lab in order to maximize efficiency of student-instructor contact time. During this student preparation phase, we engage students with handheld technology and content applications including smart phone viewable course administrative materials; “flashcards” containing basic organic chemistry nomenclature, molecular structures, and chemical reactions; mini-lectures prepared using the Smart Board Airliner Interactive Tablet for upcoming class periods and laboratory technique videos demonstrating tasks they will perform as part of laboratory experimentation. Coupled with a student friendly course text, these handheld applications enable substantial student preparation before class and lab. The method, in conjunction with handheld technology and applications, has been used with positive results in our organic chemistry courses.