Submitted by Alycia Palmer / The Ohio State University on Wed, 06/11/2014 - 09:48
My Notes

The in-class game Jablinko was designed to make learning excited state transitions fun. To play, a student chooses an excited state by placing a game chip at the top of the board, then the chip can “vibrationally cool” by bouncing through the pegs, and finally “transition” to a lower energy state in the bottom row. The students then compete to be the first to name the transition (e.g. S1 to T1 is called intersystem crossing).

Jablinko is intended to be used following an in-class discussion on photochemistry, using the lecture slides provided with these facilitator notes. The Jablonski diagram for [Ru(bpy)3]2+ is central to the discussion on excited state transitions and is relevant as an introduction to upper-level advanced inorganic laboratories that investigate emission or excited state quenching properties.

Learning Goals
  • Explain excited state processes through the use of a Jablonski diagram
  • Describe how transitions occur between electronic states
  • Learn how to draw a transition provided from the game on a blank Jablonski diagram
Equipment needs

Computer/projector for powerpoint slides. It would be beneficial to have a means of writing on the slides while delivering the information to students, but this is not required.


Construction of the Board

A ­­­2’ × 4’, 1/8” thick, holes 3/16” width, standard white pegboard was purchased from a home improvement store for under $20. The board was used as purchased, thus not cutting was required. The holes are 1” apart in all directions. 1-1/4” length, 3/16” width dowel pegs were purchased for less than $2 and used on the board to guide the Jablinko chip. Pegs were inserted leaving three empty holes between sets of pegs, and two empty rows between filled rows in a staggered fashion (see photo). Wells were created at the bottom using peg placement: columns 5 pegs high with a 5-peg-wide gap between. These can be arranged to suit your chip size and it is recommended that you identify your Jablinko chip before placing pegs onto board. Jablinko chips were crafted from the plastic covers used on cardboard poster tubes. Cardstock was used to label the board and paper inserts were created to fit in the caps of the poster tubes. Additional pegs were inserted where needed around the edges of the board to keep the chip from falling off of the board. This entire board was crafted in less than 2 hours.

Implementation Notes

Jablinko is intended to be used following an in-class discussion on photochemistry, using the lecture slides provided with these facilitator notes. One suggestion for how to organize the class period is (1) to have the instructor lead the class discussion on slides #1—6, then (2) invite students to play Jablinko, and finally (3) the instructor will finish the class discussion with slide #7. Comments for the instructor are included on each slide to facilitate the transfer of information into your own classroom. Additionally, hidden slides are includes that show hand-written text and drawings that were made during the discussion period with a stylus.

Time Required
One 55-minute class period


Evaluation Methods

The learning goals were informally assessed by observing student participation in the class game and through discussion with students during the game. Also, notes taken during the game by the students were used to evaluate if students could make sense of the game.

Evaluation Results

Initially, students were shy to volunteer to go up to the board, but after the first round, student involvement increased. It seemed that that response portion of the game was dominated by a few students, so in the future the game may be more effective by dividing the class into teams.


Students were unsure how to note the result of one turn on their handout. They would just write down the transition name (e.g. T1 to S0) instead of drawing on the Jablonski diagram. In the future, to help students better connect the game to the Jablonski diagram, the instructor may wish to have a volunteer draw the transition on the chalkboard, for the whole class to see.


Over the course of ~10 minutes of playing the game, the students became very quick at answering the name of the transition. However, students did not seem more comfortable drawing the transition, so more time should be spent on helping students to complete the worksheet during the game.

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Kari Young / Centre College

In order to address the concern about a few students dominating the response, I wonder if students could respond with clickers (or colored note cards, etc.) instead of shouting out the answer. I suspect that clickers would allow all students sufficient time to formulate an answer, without diminishing the "game" aspect. Thanks for a great talk at BCCE 2014!

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 23:24 Permalink
Shirley Lin / United States Naval Academy

Very much enjoyed the talk at BCCE! For those who are not crafty enough to build their own Jablinko board, one could start with a Cranium game called Bumparena. You might be able to arrange the board such that certain transitions are favored over others. Unfortunately there are only 3 states possible at the bottom fo the board (unless you subdivided them yourself).




Sat, 08/09/2014 - 22:44 Permalink