Dr. March received his PhD degree from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, and is a recipient of a 2003 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Alabama Professor of the Year Award for his commitment to undergraduate education. He successfully adapted the guided inquiry approach developed at Franklin and Marshall and College of the Holy Cross to the large university setting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during his time there as General Chemistry Laboratory Director.
He has continued to pursue cooperative learning strategies in General Chemistry courses at since his appointment to the faculty at UAB. In the general chemistry laboratories at UAB, March has received funding to integrate new technologies and guided inquiry experiments into the laboratory course. In 2005, he acted as the principal investigator on the NSF-funded POGILinPrep grant that adapted the Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry approach to the preparatory chemistry course. This grant resulted in the publication of Introductory Chemistry: A Guided Inquiry approach by Cengage Publishing. March has also led summer courses for pre- and in-service K-12 teachers that have involve preparing active learning exercises for the laboratory and field testing them under supervision in our summer ChemBridge Program for 9th grade students. He has served UAB as Chair of the Faculty Senate and is currently an Associate Director in the Science and Technology Honors Program.
Active learning strategies in the chemistry classroom Learning is deeper and the process is more enjoyable when everyone in the classroom is engaged. We have developed and tested active learning strategies in the three learning environments implemented at UAB (classroom, recitation, and laboratory). Our activities are informed by research on how people learn and adapted for use in the chemistry classroom. We have explored think-pair-share, peer-to-peer learning, group-based activities, and challenge problems. All of these approaches require the development of new materials and assessment of how the changes impact student success.
Technology in the Classroom We have a long tradition on delivering content via a learning management system, and we are investigating how video can be integrated in an active learning classroom. Typically, video is considered a passive delivery tool, but with the availability of handheld phones capable of capturing video we now have an opportunity to explore new modes of instruction. Student-produced videos, pre-lab videos, video challenges, and video that address big ideas are all possible avenues to make learning through video more active.
Early College Experiences Leading to the Lab As an Associate Director in the Science and Technology Program in the Honors College, I have created a curriculum that is designed to help students identify their strengths and interests so that they can quickly contribute to a research laboratory. This curriculum includes summer orientation sessions, a freshman retreat, a junior/senior retreat, coursework, and extra-curricular workshops.
General Chemistry Coordinator (CH 114/115/116/118/119) I am responsible for coordinating the lecture and laboratory program that introduces chemistry concepts to students. We use lecture, recitation, and laboratory exercises to reach our goals.
Goals of the General Chemistry Program Develop in the student an understanding of the methodology of science. Generate a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts of atomic structure, chemical bonding, chemical periodicity, and properties of the states of matter that result from aggregate structure. Impart in students the ability to utilize the periodic table in understanding and explaining chemical behavior and properties. Ensure that students can read (qualitative/quantitative) a chemical equation, predict chemical reactions, and understand the energetics and kinetics associated with chemical reactivity. Develop quantitative skills that permit the student to solve real problems, which exemplify the basic chemical concepts, i.e. numerical and conceptual problem solving. Reinforce the teaching of basic chemical concepts by giving the students a feeling of the way chemistry impacts the world about them and their future careers. Provide the tools that the student will need to function as a chemically literate person in a technological world.
Associate Director of the Science and Technology Honors Program I am responsible for recruiting and educating highly motivated high ability students that are interested in careers that benefit from participating in undergraduate research. We have a full four-year curriculum that helps students in each phase of their career.