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UQ Centre Building 27A Room 220

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Dr Gwen Lawrie is a teaching-focussed academic in SCMB and Director of first year chemistry (curriculum and assessment). While Dr Lawrie teaches in first, second and third year chemistry, she has a particular interest in transitions from high school to tertiary studies as well as learning progressions across the curriculum. Gwen completed a postgraduate diploma in secondary education and taught in high schools for a year; this experience has had a major influence on her practice. Dr Lawrie's teaching philosophy and strategies have been recognised through faculty, institutional and national awards for inclusive practices and the respect she has for students.

This level 1 chemistry service course is scheduled into multiple programs of study (including BSc, BBiotech, BBiomed Sci, BEng, BPharm, BHealth Sci, BENS and dual programs). It is the first core tertiary chemistry course and topics are taught in 3 modules: module 1 (atomic structure, bonding, molecular geometry, hybridisation and intro to organic chemistry); module 2 (kinetic theory of gases, intermolecular forces, thermochemistry, thermodynamics, equilibrium) and module 3 (solution equilibria, solubility, redox chemistry). With 3 parallel lecture streams involving multiple lecturers, the content is structured so that all streams move at the same pace (many students have to attend more than one stream due to timetable clashes). PowerPoint is used as the platform but the content is structured to encourage active learning.

Dr Lawrie has substantial experience in teaching very large classes (up to 500 students) and she tries to incorporate multimodal strategies to give students multiple ways that they can engage with chemistry concepts. To achieve this, she incorporates visual representations through structural models, simulations and demonstrations as well as connecting to real world examples. Gwen also makes sure there are at least two 'in-class' problems that students are encouraged to attempt (with or without clickers), so that they have a chance to apply the concepts that they have just encountered as well as gain feedback from her modelled answer (using the visualiser).

Like everyone, I have good days and bad days so forgive the latter! I am also happy to receive advice so if you spot something I could do better; please share :-)


UQ Centre Building 27A Room 220

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