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Andrea Leonard, M.S.

Master Instructor

Montgomery Hall, Room 218

P.O. Box 43700
Lafayette LA 70504
337-482-5674
leonard.chemistry@louisiana.edu

Education:

B.S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2000
M.S., Louisiana State University, 2003

Awards:

  • Ray P. Authement College of Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, 2012
  • Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, 2014
  • Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, 2012

Teaching Interests: 

My attention is focused primarily on the development and maintenance of Online Chemistry Courses. As we move forward into the uncertain future, it is obvious that online learning is a path rich in possibilities for both students and educators. I am proud to be a ULearn Certified Instructor of online classes, which is approved by the Office of Distance Learning.

I am also involved in the traditional classroom, where I am trying to expand the technology level in my courses by using online homework systems, effectively using Learning Management Systems (Moodle), posting demonstrative videos, and utilizing flipped-classroom ideas.

Teaching Philosophy:

I believe in the dynamic presentation of material. I try to avoid the standard static PowerPoint slide during a class presentation. Instead, I will reveal bullet points one at a time to focus on the discussion of theory. Then I use tasteful animations to demonstrate concepts and problem solving strategies.

My lecture strategies make chemistry as welcoming as possible. I am polite to my students and treat them with respect. I try to use student questions as a jumping off point to tackle a more difficult concept. Also, I avoid heavy use of jargon in my lectures. I find that when I speak plainly about confusing topics, students approach those topics with less trepidation.

Obviously, preparation and organization are crucial when juggling both offline and online learning. I expect students to attend classes and exams on time, and they, in turn, need to be able to rely on me to issue tests on an expected date and return grades quickly. I try to remove as much guesswork as possible from the students’ experience by posting all test dates at the beginning of the semesters, making student grade determination simple, and keeping to a set schedule of online assignments.

I am also aware that the best learning often occurs outside of the classroom. I emphasize self-disciplined practice to my students as a crucial component of test preparation. Such practice can include online homework, problem packets, and assigned textbook questions. Students working on their own time still need instructor support, and for this reason I believe an instructor should be available in a variety of ways, including office hours, email correspondence, live chat, and Moodle Messages. This helps both the traditional and the online student avoid feelings of isolation. Students need to feel secure in the knowledge that if something is confusing or unclear, there is a human being they can reach out to for help. In this way, the role of the instructor should support learning by providing a nurturing one-on-one experience to those students seeking it.