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Short Author Bio(s)

Erica Gunn grew up in Plymouth, MA, received her bachelor's in Chemistry from Simmons College in 2004, and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2009. In 2009, she also completed a one-year teaching fellowship at the University of Washington-Bothell. Erica pursued postdoctoral research as a PhRMA fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2009-2011, and joined the faculty at Simmons College in 2012. Her research interests focus on the solid state chemistry of pharmaceuticals. She currently teaches introductory chemistry for non-majors and quantum mechanics. Her teaching interests include a special attention to helping underprepared and underrepresented groups discover confidence and build competence in the sciences.

Abstract

Incorporation of clicker technology in an introductory chemistry class is described as a method for collecting and automatically tabulating student feedback for use in formative faculty development. Students are polled in real-time on issues of classroom management and the success of various teaching methods. Tabulated data is displayed on the classroom screen and used to facilitate classroom discussion. This method was introduced in a first-year general chemistry class for non-majors and resulted in unusually high student evaluation marks in categories related to communication with the instructor. The success of the method was evaluated using mid-semester and final student evaluations, informal written student evaluations, peer observation, and instructor reflection.

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