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Jeremy Andreatta, Worcester State University
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Inorganic Texts

I know there's an old thread on this topic somewhere, but I can't find it. We've been using Shriver and Atkins' Inorganic Chem for a while now. Our other inorganic chemist tried Miessler and Tarr once and it was a bust. It was just too much for our students. I agree that Shriver and Atkins is a decent text, but it skimps so much on symmetry and group theory. I was comtemplaing a change to Housecroft and Sharpe (4th edition). Any thoughts? The order of the material is quite different than Shriver, but I constantly find myself going back to Housecroft (which I used as an undergraduate). Any thougths? 

 

Marites A. Guino-o, University of St. Thomas
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Hi Jeremy,

I also use Shriver and Atkins because my students like that the book is cheaper (the older 5th ed).  But when I cover symmetry and group theory, I supplement the book a lot.

I use Dean Johnstons symmetry tutorial - https://www.ionicviper.org/web-resources/symmetry-resources-otterbein-co...

And use Miessler for group theory.  And use Housecroft in other topics such as MO Theory.

I find that when I teach, its hard to stick to one book.  But I need to choose one for students' reference.

Tess

 

 

Marites A. Guino-o, University of St. Thomas
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Hi Jeremy,

I also use Shriver and Atkins because my students like that the book is cheaper (the older 5th ed).  But when I cover symmetry and group theory, I supplement the book a lot.

I use Dean Johnstons symmetry tutorial - https://www.ionicviper.org/web-resources/symmetry-resources-otterbein-co...

And use Miessler for group theory.  And use Housecroft in other topics such as MO Theory.

I find that when I teach, its hard to stick to one book.  But I need to choose one for students' reference.

Tess

 

 

Kari Young, Centre College
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Do your classes include much descriptive chemistry?  When I look at Housecroft & Sharpe or Shriver & Atkins, I just see chapters in the middle that I wouldn't use.  How do you organize your course? I use Miessler, Fisher, and Tarr because I don't do much descriptive chemistry, and I prefer MFT's more theoretical approach: bonding first, then coordination chemistry, then applications, including organometallics and bioinorganic. That said, it is not perfect.  I do skip around a little and I sympathize with the "too much for my students" feeling.  However, I find that it is easier to give them too much information and back off on the theory than to be trying to supplement the theory when they don't have a reference.

Jeremy Andreatta, Worcester State University
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Kari, 

I definitely don't do the middle descriptive part. I simply don't have time. I stayed with shriver this time around, but think it's time to switch next year. 

Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College
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Kari, I think you summarized my own approach very well.  Better to give them a comprehensive text and then say, "section x.y is too detailed and less relevant" than supplement a weaker text.

I've been using M&T 4th edition for a number of years, and I do spend a lot of time on theory and bonding/structure. In fact, my course is fairly short on actual reactions, and I'd like to beef those up in the future. I do like Shriver & Atkins' treatment of electrochem topics, particularly Frost and Pourbaix diagrams.  And I like Wulfsberg's depth on Pourbaix diagrams, too.  But for me, M&T #4 is the best fit for how I structure the course.  I haven't given the 5th edition a look yet - that may be another thread here on the forums...

Chris Hamaker, Illinois State University
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We teach two semesters of Inorganic Chemistry and I use Shriver and Atkins for the second semester course (Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, I teach chapters 2 (MO theory), 6-8, and 19-22 along with the advanced topics catalysis and bioinorganic chapters). I agree that the Group Theory is skimpy in S&A, but I have the library put the Symmertry and Group Theory chapter form M&T online as an electronic reserve (we can put one chapter of a book online as an e-reserve through the library). I tried Housecroft and Sharp one semester, and the students did not like it as well and, as mentioned above, it is significantly more expensive. I personally do no care for M&T. Additionally, the only difference between the 5th and 6th editions of S&A are the "Frontiers" chapters with some small differences in the catalysis and bioinorganic chapters.

Brian Pfennig, Ursinus College
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"Principles of Inorganic Chemistry" (Brian W. Pfennig, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015)

 

I am new to VIPEr, but I too have experienced this age-old problem of finding just the right inorganic textbook. I "grew up" with Huheey back in the late 1980s, which was rigorous enough for my tastes but a bit disjointed. When I began teaching, I used Miessler and Tarr for about 15 yrs, but I was really not very satisfied with the level of group theory or solid state in that text. Shriver and Atkins was way too descriptive for my tastes and has deteriorated as it gets more authors in the mix. So probably like many of you, I began writing my own material for my students and used it as supplemental readings. Over the years, I fine-tuned my collection of materials, stated writing a textbook initially just for my own students, and then beta-tested and revised it until somebody told me I should try publishing it. And so I did. Ater seven plus years in the making, my new inorganic textbook "Principles of Inorganic Chemistry" comes out this week. You can order an examination copy from Wiley's website here: www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118859103.html. Although the book is intended for students who have already had pchem, it could be easily adapted for any theoretical-based inorganic class. Using thoroughly worked in-chapter examples and generous use of color illustrations, the textbook examines the underlying principles of atomic and molecular structure and bonding. Using group theory as its underlying theme, it explores the three traditional types of chemical bonding: covalent, ionic, and metallic in separate chapters and then examines the gray areas in between these bonding extremes and compares and contrasts the different ways of thinking about atoms in molecules and solids. The chapters on MO theory and transition metal complexes are especially thorough. I am looking foward to the launch and to how the book will be received by other faculty. Maybe some of you will consider adopting it for your courses.

Brian Pfennig

Kyle Grice, DePaul University
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Hi Brian,

I'd be interested in reading it, I will order an examination copy. It looks like the link is currently down though.

Thanks,

Kyle

Brian Pfennig, Ursinus College
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Thanks Kyle. Just go to the Wiley website and search my name Pfennig.

 

Jeremy Andreatta, Worcester State University
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'm thinking of going to M&T with the "dumb down" approach, but I'm also ordering and exam copy of Brian's book! I'm really excited to read it. I used to use Shriver b/c it was cheaper. The 6th edition is nt too bad, but like most, I skip the descriptive sections. 

Barbara Reisner, James Madison University
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I'm curious if people have much experience using Shriver, Housecroft or M&T at the freshman/sophomore (pre-p-chem / concurrent with organic) level. I've been using a descriptive book but it doesn't have enough explanation. I want to move to a more comprehensive book, but I'm worried that the level will put off many students. (I tried M&T in my first year and the first year students - and some of the sophmores too - were overly intimidated.)

And Brian - I saw your book at the ACS meeting. It looks really interesting and reminds me of the course I took as an undergrad. I need to take a look for our senior level course!

Brian Pfennig, Ursinus College
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Thanks everyone for the positive vibes about my text. I think once you all have had the time to really delve into it and read it in detail, you will appreciate the flow and the way that I develop topics. I think it is very readable text--one that students will actually use. It just needs some exposure now--spread the word!

Brian

 

Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College
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Having just spent a few days in a seemingly endless email loop with Pearson Higher Ed, I can confirm (unofficially) that there do not appear to be any revision plans for Housecroft and Sharpe beyond the 4th ed. I used the first and third editions of that text over the years and generally liked it. I will probably pick up the 4th ed. before it disappears.

I used Miessler, Fisher and Tarr this year. I have used various versions of that text over the years. I like its focus on MO and bonding theories, but the coverage is pitched a little low for my students (most of whom have had p-chem, group theory, and quantum before they step in my class). As a result, I found myself more and more dissatisfied with the book as the semester rolled on. Also, with the removal of the bioninorganic chapter (I know it isn't your fault Paul!) and the "too low" treatment of solids, I found myself using other texts for lecture prep, but my students needed more book to support them.

Sheila Smith reminded me of Pfennig's book (which apparently I had already requested and received!) and I can see that the book is more to the level of my relatively advanced students. The lack of bioinorganic in the text is a concern (I alternate between solids/materials, bioinorganic at the end of my course depending on student interest) but I have plenty of books I can build out a unit on bioinorganic if I choose to do so.

Of course, I still always end up on this site to use the great LOs!

I have about 6 months to make up my mind, so if anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them!

Adam

Barbara Reisner, James Madison University
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There are two textbook threads, so I'm posting my question in both:

This week I got the dreaded email... the bookstore asked what book. This year I'd like to use Tom Mallouk's class' Inorganic Chemistry Wiki Textbook (https://www.ionicviper.org/web-resources-and-apps/inorganic-chemistry-wi...) for my sophomore level inorganic chemistry course (prereq = genchem). My course doesn't have the same materials focus as Tom's course, but I think his book will work almost as well as the books that I've used in the past. (Rayner-Canham/Overton's book was an okay fit. My attempt to use Shriver et al. just didn't work at all!)

I have two questions for the IONiC community:

1. Have you ever taught with the wikibook? If so, I'd appreciate it if you would share your feedback about using the book with students.

2. Have you ever taught inorganic without a textbook? What strategies do you have for teaching without a book?

Thanks!

Rosemarie D Walker, Metropolitan State University of Denver
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Due to the unexpected death of a colleague I'm teaching the last third of a sophomore level Inorganic, the text used is Wulfsberg's Principles of Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry. Years ago when I taught the course I had VHS tapes of the labs, does anyone still have copies or has anyone maybe converted them to digital
Joseph Keane, Muhlenberg College
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I do not use a formal textbook for my course anymore.  We only have one semester of inorganic.  Its population is senior-level chemistry majors, roughly half having taken p-chem and half taking it concurrently.  I bounced around between Shriver-Atkins, Housecroft and Sharpe, and Meissler and Tarr for several years.  With one semester, there is so much material I didn't cover, and in every case some of the topics I thought it was important to cover were pitched at a level that seemed much more appropriate for graduate students and/or students who had taken much more math than we require.

In another thread, I mentioned developing POGIL-type guided-inquiry exercises for inorganic.  I now have a full semester's worth, and this draft workbook has become the de facto course textbook.  I still recommend in my syllabus that students acquire a recent edition of one of the above texts as a reference or, if they are going on in chemistry, the current edition.

Barbara Reisner, James Madison University
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Joseph - would you consider posting your POGIL activities on the VIPEr website? The'd be a great resource for the community!

 

Joseph Keane, Muhlenberg College
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I am happy to share my POGIL-type activites directly with individuals who are interested in this type of instruction.

As I am hoping to develop these materials into a commercial workbook, however, I suspect that posting them on the site could be problematic.

 

Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College
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I decided to go with Brian's text this spring (https://www.ionicviper.org/blog-entry/inorganic-chemistry-trainwreck-2017) and it did NOT end up being the train wreck I had feared (see the blog post for what I was worried about... expect to see an account of my experience later this spring). I find the text to be very readable and fairly complete. As an organometallic chemist, I find that I am supplementing those chapters (18-19) with my own matieral and VIPEr LOs, but I broke down and finally learned Tanabe-Sugano diagrams this year because of the clear coverage in the text.

Adam

Adam Colson, Boise State University
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I'm thinking about transitioning to Brian Pfennig's text this fall and would be interested to hear opinions on the text. I used Miessler & Tarr this year and--overall--had a positive experience. However, I think that Pfennig's book fits my course structure a bit better. Our program only offers a single semester Advanced Inorganic course taken after pchem, which is a pre-req for my course. My emphasis is on developing a more advanced and contemporary model of bonding that can be used to explain/predict chemistry beyond the p-block. We spend a lot of time on the rigorous development of group theory and MO theory (first half of the 16-week course), then expand these concepts to develop HSAB theory and coordination chemistry (including spectroscopy). Because we spend a lot of time on the molecular structure and bonding aspects of inorganic chemistry, I've had to cut out solid state, bioinorganic, and a lot of mechanistic chemistry. If anyone else teaches a similarly structured course and has adopted Pfennig's book, please let me know. I read Adam Johnson's post above and it was great. Just looking for some additional feedback.

Thanks 

-Adam    

joe root, assignmentau
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I also use Shriver and Atkins because my students like that the book is cheaper (the older 5th ed).  But when I cover symmetry and group theory, I supplement the book a lot.

joe root