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Even before COVID-19 forced us all online, Chris Bender, Associate Professor of Chemistry, was already rethinking his Chemistry 111 course in Spring 2020. The Smith Building was being closed for renovations and CHEM U111 had a long history of high withdrawal rates. With building renovations forcing courses to become hybrid due to space limitations, would the withdrawal rate climb even higher? To prepare for a transition to a hybrid course in Fall 2020 (at least what was supposed to be in Fall 2020), Dr. Bender applied to the inaugural Engaged Pedagogy and Hybrid Course Design Institute with CAIFS in Summer 2020. After a few months of training and course planning to implement a flipped classroom with active learning, the course went live in Fall 2020…and has remained flipped, active, and collaborative ever since.

Dr. Bender presented findings from the new CHEM 101 course at the Fall Course Showcase. Watch the 15-minute video below to find out what happened to the W rate after the transition and to learn about students really think about those 6-minute videos!