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Journal/Book Title

Journal of Chemical Education

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In synchronously-delivered, multi-site classrooms, the physical separation between distance students and instructors may create a perceived divide that negatively affects learning. Building on prior experience in flipping organic chemistry in single-site face-to-face (F2F) classes, we decided to extend our approach to multi-site, synchronously-delivered general chemistry courses. Our thought was to narrow the perceived instructor-student divide in distance teaching by using the flexible in-class time that flipping affords to increase the number of positive teacher/distance-student interactions. In this effort, we gradually developed a technique called “bridging questions,” through which the instructor becomes more familiar with student interests and then connects those interests to chemistry topics discussed in class. Despite anticipating overall positive results, actual consequences were mixed: after flipping the class, evaluation scores and positive feedback increased slightly. However, the mean final exam scores decreased for F2F students by 26.2%, but increased for distance students by 4.4% (not statistically significant). Thus, this new approach (flipping with bridging questions) may have unintentionally skewed our focus to distance students, though this conclusion is speculative. (We acknowledge statistical limitations, due to small sample sizes.) We accordingly advocate proactive efforts to balance engagement between both F2F and distance sites. In this paper we also discuss modifications we made to adapt our flipped format to multi-site, synchronously-delivered freshman chemistry courses, as well as the basic idea of bridging questions in general.

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Chemistry Commons



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