It's not just a technology, it’s a way to engage your students

Matthew W. Stoltzfus

Chemistry Lecturer, The Ohio State University

As I prepare for each general chemistry lecture, I ask myself one question: "What is the best use of my face to face class time with students?" I don't believe the best use of my face to face time is to lecture to the students using chalk talk or PowerPoint. With today's technology, all of my traditional lectures can be posted on-line and students can watch these before or after class. I only have three hours per week with my students, so I decided to flip my classroom in order to make the best use of the time I have with them.

In a large lecture class with over 300 students, a variety of challenges arise when trying to actively engage students. I started with clickers, and then progressed to polling with cell phones/laptops. In each of these systems, I was limited to just multiple choice or text-based free response questions and it became clear these systems were built to poll students, rather than engage them in peer discussion. In contrast, Learning Catalytics offers 18 different question types.