Planning for Shared Face-to-Face and Distance Labs

Dr. Sarah Hayes is planning CHEM 194, Introduction to Environmental Chemistry of the Arctic, for the Fall 2015 semester. The course will have both face-to-face and distance components, inviting all students to draw, submit and analyze water samples from across Alaska. Dr. Hayes is working with Dr. Jennifer Guerard and fellow CITE Fellow Dr. Chris Iceman to develop the course, which relies on the areas of expertise of all three professors. Dr. Hayes is supported by UAF CTL instructional designers Brooke Sheridan and Christen Bouffard.
Along with the usual challenges of designing a brand-new course, the logistics accompanying joint face-to-face and distance lab components create a further challenge for Dr. Hayes and her colleagues. It sometimes feels that each time a question is answered, three new questions  spawn in its place. Some variables include lab kit contents, mailing details and pricing, outfitting students with tablets and the necessary applications to conduct coursework, and who to ask about all these details–that’s where CTL support comes in, from the instructional designers to the administrative team, CITE Fellows get the answers they need so they can focus on their projects.

A mid-winter meeting at Lulu’s to go over roles in the design process.
A mid-winter meeting at Lulu’s to go over roles in the design process.                           Photo by Chris Iceman.

Support for this course includes an online lab course–that is, an online course that focuses specifically on creating online labs–in which both Dr. Hayes and designer Brooke Sheridan are participating, as well as extensive research into the appropriate technology to bolster the educational experience for both online and face-to-face students. Christen Bouffard and the CTL team, for example, are investigating different mobile tablet platforms and apps to use and recommend to students who will be taking the course.
It’s a pleasure to observe Drs. Hayes, Guerard and Iceman collaborate on this project. They have an obvious … chemistry as a team and together create a stronger course than any individual effort could. The course promises to be an innovative addition to the chemistry curriculum, as well as a valuable contribution to the ongoing study of the arctic environment.
UAF Chemistry Department:

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