We are proud to introduce Edulastic Innovator Spotlight member Jen Lee. Jen teachers chemistry at both the high school and college level in New Jersey. Check out her video interview for an inside look at how she uses Edulastic for her online chemistry labs. Thanks for sharing, Jen!
Get to know Jen Lee
What do you love about Edulastic? How do you use it in your classroom?
I love the flexibility of Edulastic and the question types. I love that it works seamlessly with Google Classroom when possible. Now, I use Edulastic for formative assessments within class, for at-home check-in assignments, as well as for college-level online lab assessments.
What initially inspired you to work in education?
I enrolled my local community college for an additional degree in Computer Programming, unrelated to my Bachelor’s in Chemistry. One of the community college teachers backed out suddenly, and they needed to find a chemistry teacher FAST. They asked me to fill in and teach a summer class, and I jumped right in without knowing much at all about teaching. But while teaching that class, I remembered my passion for chemistry, and I realized that my enthusiasm for the subject was contagious to the students. Upon finishing the computer programming degree, I immediately enrolled in a masters’ teaching program for chemistry, and began teaching high school as well as college.
How did you learn about Edulastic? What is your Edulastic story?
I had originally looked at Edulastic based on some education blog post that I had read; it was part of a list of applications to check out. I was excited about all the different question types that Edulastic allowed, and I immediately saw the potential for use everywhere. I began assigning short “check-in” assignments on Edulastic to my AP Chemistry class, just as a formative assessment to see if students had grasped the concept of what we had learned in class that day. Since then, I have given multiple trainings on Edulastic and how to use it within the classroom, as well as assessments outside of the classroom. Edulastic generated beautiful assessments, and was flexible enough to assign almost any type of assessment that I needed.
What tips do you have for teachers who are new to Edulastic?
Start small! Use pre-made questions or whole assessments when possible. If creating your own questions, initially stick to 2 or 3 question types that you know well, and branch out from there. Ask for help when you need it – the online tech support chat people are fantastic!!
Please sum up your teaching philosophy in a few sentences:
Educational psychology has established that retention of new material is most effective when taught using participatory teaching methods such as group discussion, practice, and teaching others. In addition, the philosophy of differentiated instruction advises that instructors should provide students with multiple avenues to learn the same content; thereby considering a range of abilities and learning styles within the same classroom. For these reasons, I avoid using primarily direct instruction during class, in favor of more participatory teaching methods. For students’ pre-lecture preparation, I encourage readings, slides, and videos. The variety of materials I make accessible to students that accomplish the same learning goals ensures that the content is available to students with multiple learning preferences and tendencies. I have found that providing students with a choice of how they would prefer to learn compels students to take more ownership over their learning process.
Favorite Edulastic question type:
Short text answer
What subjects do you use Edulastic for?
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy