Audit: Alternate Approach success

April 19, 2007
Categories: AP

Just thought some of you may like to know this;

Due to a combination of somewhat out of the ordinary circumstances and my own personal philosophy, I was not able (at least with a clear conscience and any professional or personal integrity) to sign off on the lab commitment part of the audit. After much gnashing of teeth and “toing and froing” with my administration, we agreed that we would submit a syllabus that listed an Alternate Approach to “one double period per week”. HOWEVER, our Alternate Approach did NOT outline a huge portfolio of virtual labs, rather it stated that I would cover all of the likely lab material via a combination of some wet-labs, demos, virtual labs, and other experiences. For many reasons my “hands-on” lab program is not very extensive (approx. 14 labs, a couple of computer simulations and a few other things), and it only covers nine of the recommended 22 (the other labs ARE fully discussed in class but not actually “done”), BUT we do work lab based problems over and over and over again to cover every single lab situation ever asked on the AP exam. Part of my syllabus document was based upon this document at my web site;

Why tell you all this? Well, it appears that the term “Alternate Approach” can be used with a LARGE amount of latitude, and that a successful audit does NOT necessarily mean that you are doing a huge lab component either wet, virtual or frankly at ALL in your AP chemistry course, but what maybe is important is that you are covering the lab material in some manner.

Anybody else with “Alternate Approach” success stories?


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