Outline- Gas Law Module


hotair-balloon   PSC: LOW-RES PROOF REQ? = 1

This module is designed for a hybrid class. The students will be in the classroom for online group work, quizzes and laboratory work.  They will be making and posting videos of their laboratory results. The students will be working online individually with the notes, individual practice problems and online tutorials.

The first lessons concentrate on describing a gas in terms of its properties: pressure, volume, temperature, and amount of substance. The following lessons concentrate on how experimental relationships connect the properties of gases. The gas laws will be rationalized using a series of hypotheses about the molecular structure of gases.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the definition of pressure. Use the definition to predict and measure pressures experimentally.
  • Describe experiments that show relationships between pressure, temperature, volume, and moles of a gas.
  • Use empirical gas laws to predict how a change in one of the properties of a gas will affect the remaining properties.
  • Use volume-to-mole relationships obtained using the empirical gas laws to solve stoichiometry problems involving gases.
  • Understand the concept of partial pressure in mixtures of gases.
  • Use the ideal kinetic-molecular model to explain the empirical gas laws.

Lesson #1:

Online Activities:

  1. Podcast #1a – Boyle’s Law
  2. Online tutorial – Boyle’s Law
  3. Online practice problems: unit conversions and Boyle’s Law

In Class Activities:

  1. Online group practice problems
  2. Boyle’s Law Lab
  3. Work on lab report with lab partner – students will be making videos of their laboratory results and posting them on Schoology
  4. Quiz

Lesson #2:

Online Activities:

  1. Podcast #1b – Charles’s Law
  2. Online tutorial – Charles’s Law
  3. Online practice problems: Charles’s Law

In Class Activities:

  1. Online group practice problems
  2. Charles’s Law Lab
  3. Work on lab report with lab partner – students will be making videos of their laboratory results and posting them on Schoology
  4. Quiz

Lesson #3:

Online Activities:

  1. Podcast #1c – Gay Lussac’s Law and Combined Gas Law
  2. Online tutorial: Lussac’s Law
  3. Online practice problems: Gay Lussac’s Law and Combined Gas Law

In Class Activities:

  1. Online group practice problems
  2. Gay Lussac’s Lab
  3. Work on lab report with lab partner – students will be making videos of their laboratory results and posting them on Schoology
  4. Quiz

Lesson #4:

Online Activities:

  1. Podcast #2 – The Ideal Gas Law
  2. Online tutorial: Ideal Gas Law
  3. Online practice problems: Ideal Gas Law

In Class Activities:

  1. Online group practice problems
  2. Exploring Properties of Gases Lab
  3. Work on lab report with lab partner – students will be making videos of their laboratory results and posting them on Schoology
  4. Quiz

Lesson #5:

Online Activities:

  1. Podcast #3 – STP Problems
  2. Online tutorial: STP
  3. Online practice problems: STP

In Class Activities:

  1. Online group practice problems
  2. The Molar Volume of a Gas Lab
  3. Work on lab report with lab partner – students will be making videos of their laboratory results and posting them on Schoology
  4. Quiz

Lesson #6:

Online Activities:

  1. Online tutorial lesson: Dalton’s Law
  2. Online tutorial lesson: Graham’s Law
  3. Online practice problems

In Class Activities:

  1. Online group practice problems
  2. Gas Stoichiometry Lab
  3. Work on lab report with lab partner – students will be making videos of their laboratory results and posting them on Schoology
  4. Quiz

Lesson #7:

  1. TEST
  • Boyle’s and Charles’s and Lussac’s Gas Laws
  • Combined Gas Law
  • Ideal Gas Law
  • Dalton’s and Graham’s Laws
  • Gas Stoichiometry


The Universal Design for Learning website had some interesting links that I think will be useful as I continue to plan my module lesson. I particularly found these links useful:

Foster Collaboration and Community

Mastery Oriented Feedback

Support Memory and Transfer

I know that I will really need to work on fostering that collaboration in my module.  I also want to work on getting feedback from students.

The book excerpt was a little tougher to get through. I was overwhelmed with all of the different differentiations that were mentioned.  It never would have occurred to me that you would need so many multiple means of representation and expression in an online course.  With students in our classrooms we can observe when they are having difficulty with a topic and we can step in and correct the situation.  As the authors stated,  many of the course design features that work for students with learning disabilities would work for anyone.  I think that Schoology appears to provide many of the differentiations that were mentioned in the reading.  Many of the requirements mentioned as being needed to differentiate an online class are just as necessary in a face to face classroom.  Again, as many teachers have noted, the techniques that provide good differentiation online are really no different from the techniques used in face to face instruction.  I think that what is more challenging for the online teacher is selecting the right technology for the type of  interaction that you are looking for.

The resource I found was  http://www.jonbergmann.com/about-m/.

This resource gives specific information on Flipped Learning. The site was developed by Jon Bergmann. Bergmann is one of the pioneers of the Flipped Class Movement. Jon is the author of several books and he is the founder of the global FlipCon conferences.  What I found most interesting was that he spent 24 years as high school chemistry teacher before becoming the lead technology facilitator for a large school district. He also serves on the advisory board for TED-Education.  In 2013, he was named one of Tech & Learning’s 10 Most Influential People. The site is filled with articles and research and resources that support the Flipped model. The website provides useful links to tools for preparing and producing your own educational videos. Making my own educational videos is something that I have been working on for several years.  I am really looking to try and take my videos to the next level.  I found some useful information on video production and hosting.  I was particularly interested in the Comparisons of Interactive Video Tools:

EduCanon        EdPuzzle          Zaption                                Office Mix

123    4

Verso                    TechSmith Relay   Adobe Presenter    Google Apps for Ed

5   6        7               8

One article posted on the website really caught my attention… “Why Teachers Matter More in a Flipped Classroom”   The article discusses the mistaken idea that teaching is the pouring out of information from the teacher into the student. The reason Flipped Learning makes teachers more valuable is that it changes the dynamic of the classroom. No longer is content delivery the main focus of the class. Instead, teachers take on the role of a facilitator of learning. They can work with students in small groups and have more one-on-one interactions.  With the content delivered online, each student gets his/her own education tailored to their individual needs.  This seems to me to be the ultimate differentiation. This is exactly what I am hoping to be able to accomplish in my classroom. The many resources available at this site are going to be invaluable to me as I work to develop my module.

Best Practices

I enjoyed both readings this week. The Michigan Virtual study supported my belief that a good virtual teacher is very similar to a good face to face teacher. I can see that the time used by each type of teacher would be divided up quite differently.  The face to face teacher spends most of their teaching day actively teaching the lesson to different groups of students.  The online teacher is not doing the day to day teaching so much of their time is spent in evaluating student work. Both teachers still need to plan their lessons and the face to face teacher still needs to evaluate their students.  The time each teacher spends daily is probably about the same… it is just how they use that time.  I especially enjoyed reading the teachers comments in the article. There was a statement made by one of the Michigan teachers… “The teacher has to make sure they are logging in at certain times every day, they have to make sure they’re checking certain areas of the course, for example, the message area, organizing the discussion board, having grades set, and sending grades back to students” I think the flipped classroom and blended learning teachers probably have an even more difficult time as they need to check the online resources as well as plan and teach the daily lessons.

Every teacher needs to give feedback to their students whether it is online or on paper. I gave an online assignment a few weeks ago that had my students simply comment on a video they watched on Schoology.  I have to admit that it took me a lot longer to grade their responses online than it would have on paper.  But for some reason while I was grading the online student responses, I was inclined to give more feedback.  Maybe it was the ease of typing the comment to the student that led me to give more feedback than I usually would.  The nice surprise was that some of the students responded back to my comment and that led to a discussion with individual students that I am pretty sure would not have happened with the paper version of the assignment.  I was able to respond to a few students and let them know that we could carry on a more in-depth conversation when I saw them in class.  I can see how the online teacher would have to spend considerable time providing detailed feedback to students on a daily basis if they never had the chance to see those same students in class.

Another Michigan teacher commented that “When the instructor doesn’t respond at all … the kids lose their drive for excellence because they don’t feel that they are working toward impressing anyone. So, the communication is really important and in particular when a student asks questions, Michigan Virtual requires a 24-hour turnaround during the week.”  I think that often even students in high school will work harder for a teacher they can relate to. If you do not give that positive feedback to students they can lose interest and drive.  The responsibility to respond to a large number of students in a 24 hour period would be somewhat overwhelming to me.

Another rather depressing statement made by a teacher …. “The longer I taught online, the less students shared with me and confided in me and that worries me because that tells me that they are getting used to the idea that I turn it in, I get a grade, I walk away and I’m done.”   I would also worry that with a purely online course, it would be next to impossible to develop the same type of teacher – student relationship that the face to face teacher enjoys.  The topic I am currently covering in my AP Chemistry class has a fairly large online component.  They have podcasts and tutorials to watch as well as some online questions and homework.  Then we have the time together in class to explore topics to a greater extent and to do labs that support their learning.  I think that having the flipped classroom gives me the best of both worlds.  I am looking to improve my presentation of online material to make it more effective and interactive.

I would also disagree with the idea that there are no discipline issues with online learning. When I had the duty last year of watching a group of online students, many of the students did not use their time very effectively, they slept or were on their phones…etc. I assume they were not very successful in their online classes, but just because they were not bothering other students with their behavior,  does not mean that there were not discipline issues.  How do online teachers deal with students that do not do their work?  Confronting my students face to face is every effective. Can you be that effective with students online?  I guess classroom management is difficult for all teachers, both face to face and online.

I found the information provided in the NEA article very informative. Many of the skills of the online teachers match those of face to face teachers.  But one skill that online teachers must have really stood out… “Because online communications may lack the full array of visual and oral cues that help listeners interpret speakers’ messages, it is important that online teachers be sensitive to problems of misinterpretation, and that they are careful to use an appropriate online tone in course design and course delivery. Moreover, they should be able both to model an appropriate tone, and to guide students toward an appropriate tone when they stray” I would think that this would indeed need to be an important skill for the online teacher.  As face to face teachers we have the ability to use our voices and facial expressions and gestures to communicate with students.  It must be challenging to do the same in an online class where you never see your students.  I tend to joke quite a bit with my students and I am not sure how this would come across online… or even if I would feel the desire to joke with students I had never actually met.  I imagine the suitable face-to-face practices might not always translate to good online teaching practices.

I am committed to being a better teacher as a means to stimulate both my thinking and that of my students.  I am also committed to making my students become active learners, responsible for their own instruction and learning.  I believe that the only real way to come to understand a subject is to actively participate in learning it (as we are doing in this class).  I truly believe the following: we learn by example, we learn by doing, we learn by creating our own meaning, we learn through discovery, we learn from our mistakes.   I love the idea of adding online learning to my teaching; I just want to make sure that it helps to increase the depth of learning for my students.



Digital Learning

I found this week’s article Keeping Pace very informative. There was a lot of information in the article that I want to go back and explore when I have more time.  Initially the online experience was provided mainly for students that had health or behavioral issues, for credit recovery and for home-schooled students. There has been a big shift in the digital learning focus in the last 15 years.  Instead of focusing mainly on students with behavior issues and credit recovery, online learning is now focusing on providing additional courses for students.  Students now have the opportunity to access more Advanced Placement and dual enrollment classes while still attending their regular school.

The supplemental online courses are the foundation of the virtual schools. These courses are beneficial to students that wish to remain in their local school but also want to take advantage of courses that are not available at their schools. Virtual Virginia is going to pilot a “full-time” online course. The pilot will offer all of the required courses for grades 9–12, while the student remains enrolled in their local school.

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the iNACOL website.   iNACOL is a nonprofit organization that is seeking to transform education as we know it.  I was particularly drawn to the following statement on the Our Work section of the website:   “New learning models have the potential to dramatically improve student outcomes by providing high-quality, scalable education opportunities. These models optimize and personalize education, ultimately improving access and equity for all students.”

 After clicking on the link to find out more about these new learning models I found a great article: iNACOL’s New Learning Models Vision.   This short article discusses the powerful promise of blended and online learning as a means to transform the educational system.   The goal is to enable higher levels of learning through a competency based approach. There was a discussion of technology-based models that can allow student performance data to be collected and then the instruction can be differentiated and tailored to the needs of the individual student.

 Under the Resources Heading I was captivated by the topic of Blended Learning. I believe that blended learning is part of what I am trying to accomplish with my flipped classroom.  I downloaded the PowerPoint of the webinar A Day in the Life of a Blended Learning Teacher. The webinar followed two teachers through a typical day in a blended classroom. One teacher was a 7th grade teacher and the other was a high school science teacher. The presentation focused on the following topics:

  • How to personalize the teaching for students (e.g. room arrangement, teacher interaction, communication with students)
  • How to use data on a daily / weekly basis to personalize learning for students
  • How to use a variety of technologies to help students access course content
  • How to interact with students (e.g. grouping, via course management system, email, in person, etc.)

The blog I chose to read,  Education Transformation: From One-Size-Fits-All to Student-Centered Learning was under the blended learning tag. The author believes that blended learning is a shift in the instructional model towards a more personalized learning experience for students. Blended learning combines the strengths of both the classroom resources and the online resources.   She also believes that the blended learning design encourages greater teacher–student and student-student interaction. The author goes on to say that the most important part of blended learning is the element of student control. The model allows for increased student-centered learning. One statement the author made really stuck with me, “Building on competency-based instructional designs, blended learning should ensure that failure is not an option and offer immediate interventions when a student is not demonstrating mastery.”    I love this statement!

After reading through the webinar presentation and the blog I was really inspired by what these teachers were doing in their classrooms.  While I have been working for the past several years to develop a flipped classroom, I am now getting really excited by the idea of a blended classroom.  I am excited to explore more Blended Learning resources on the iNACOL website!

Course Project – Topic

I plan on developing an online module focusing on gas law chemistry. I will be using Schoology as my LMS.  I teach 3 sections of honors chemistry and this is subject matter that all chemistry students are required to master for the SOL.  I think this will be a topic that will really allow me to take advantage of the online/hybrid format.  There is a math component to the topic that I would like to explore with online resources. The subject also has some real world and historical applications that I think will work well for discussions.

hot-air-balloons     hindenburg-disaster

There are a large number of resources available on the internet for the gas laws, from virtual labs to simulations to tutorials. This is one of the topics in chemistry that can be effectively explored by using animations and simulations since the topic is very conceptual in nature.

Students often struggle with the gas law concepts because they have difficultly visualizing matter on the molecular level.  Having access to multiple online simulations ought to allow the students to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts and help them to develop better visual models.  Hopefully I can then get some good student discussions going.

I am not quite sure about the time line at this point, but I am thinking the module will be about two weeks in length. Two weeks would cover the entire topic, so I am not sure I can get all of that done, but I would like to try.

Not all of the student work will be done online.  I am imagining a hybrid module where students will work online with the concepts and math and in class for the hands on laboratory experiences.  I have laptop computers in my classroom so selected online assignments and virtual labs will be done by groups or pairs of students in the classroom using the laptops.

My main area of concern is my ability to create the online social presence. The students currently work very well together in the classroom and lab, but will that translate to the online module?  I am not sure how I will be able to successfully create that component of the module.   I can see that this will be an exciting learning experience for me!

Community of Inquiry??

After muddling through the article by Garrison, Archer and Anderson, I could not help but feel a bit frustrated by all of the “educationese” that was being thrown at me.  I was really feeling pretty simple minded and I really just wanted to find some nice clear definitions of the terms cognitive, social and teaching presence. There was one clear statement in the article that really stood out for me… “The main finding over the last decade with regard to teaching presence is the growing evidence as to the importance of this element. Teaching presence is seen as a significant determinant of student satisfaction, perceived learning, and sense of community” (Garrison & Arbaugh, 2007, p. 163).”  Yes! Finally something I could understand and agree with!

While the article was a challenge to get through, the COI website was a very enjoyable experience.  The website does a very nice job explaining the COI theory.  I especially enjoyed exploring the Interactive Model.  The video presentation by Dr. Mark Kassel on Teaching Presence is excellent.  He clearly describes the methods he employs to establish his presence and spell out his expectations for his online students.   I particularly enjoyed his ideas about posting announcements and emails and even being redundant to get the students attention.  In fact his video inspired me to stop what I was doing and post an announcement to my chemistry students on Schoology!  I liked Dr. Kassel’s down to earth approach about communicating with the students as if you are with them in the classroom.  He also had some great ideas about creativity and creating a balance between autonomy and teacher assistance.  His simple 10 min presentation gave me the feeling that I really could develop a successful teaching presence online and left me excited at the prospect.  I think it will be these simple communications with students that can decrease the transactional distance.

So now this diagram was beginning to make some sense!


I moved onto Cognitive Presence. How can students show their understanding when they are not present in the classroom?   It was clear from watching this video that getting students to show their understanding when they are not present in the classroom is going to be a challenge.   It is challenging enough to get them to do this when we are with them in the classroom.  For me it was nice to see a science teacher trying to deal with this issue. The use of simulations and virtual labs are all exciting ideas that I can relate to and use in developing my own module.  The presenter had some great ideas on how to get students to show higher levels of thinking online.  It was evident that the online assignments will need to be carefully selected and developed for rigor.

I enjoy the process of designing lessons that I present in class and I can see that designing my online lessons will be just as exciting. I know that Schoology can give me a great platform to start building my module, but I am going to need to find other ways to increase the interactions between teacher and student and between students.  I need to delve more into the Social Presence as this is a more difficult concept for me to grasp.

In reading one of the discussion forums on the COI website,  I came across the following statement “Oftentimes, online instructors rush the course creation process by focusing more on the course content than creating a sense of human presence in the virtual online community of learners. Simply placing content on a website and expecting students to learn without guided facilitation of reflective practice activities is not the most effective way to invoke critical thinking skills in students.” I believe this is a very powerful statement and I can see how I could easily get caught up in the excitement of building the content and putting in all of the “bells and whistles” at the expense of the Social Presence.