Redesigned Courses Invigorate Academic Performance

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The way students are taught in class is a subject that has been given some attention by Temple faculty members.  If you ask some students, they’ll tell you classes are not as engaging as they’d like them to be.

“I feel like some of my classes are good and some of them are really bad, but it mostly depends on the professor,” says Chemistry student Davette Ceaser. “It’s very rarely about the content of the course.”

A new approach to teaching classes is giving students an academic boost. Temple has recently implemented several redesigned courses that are intended to increase the engagement and amplify the success of students. Professor Daniele Ramella and his revamped General Chemistry class are one example of that success.

“I have flipped the entire class.  This flipping means taking the boring part (listening to my voice) out of the class time, and putting into the class time the harder part of processing the information, applying the information, and practicing problem-solving, which is what traditionally you would just do at home, after class, while studying.” says professor Ramella.

Ramella says that the key is engagement, which breeds higher learning behaviors.  Engaging students is a matter of pairing ways of communicating the material with making students feel comfortable in tackling that material.  This puts the students in the best position to learn.

“They’re not only passively listening to the materials which is being thrown at them, but they’re actually processing information,” he said.

As a result of these newly implemented teaching techniques students have passed these courses with more frequent A’s and A-’s.

“I was a skeptic myself, then I did it, and the result was astounding. And you end up with double the percent of A’s in your class.  Something is happening there.” said Ramella.

Ramella believes this will be a long and arduous process due to the scientific community just recently taking a scientific look at the process of learning. One thing is for certain, however, he is hopeful that we are headed in the right direction.

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