Submitted by M. Watzky / University of Northern Colorado on Mon, 01/28/2019 - 14:50
My Notes

This Guided Literature Discussion was assigned as a course project, and is the result of work originated by students Joie Games and Benjamin Melzer.  It is based on the article “Next-Generation Water-Soluble Homogeneous Catalysts for Conversion of Glycerol to Lactic Acid” by Matthew Finn, J. August Ridenour, Jacob Heltzel, Christopher Cahill, and Adelina Voutchkova-Kostal in Organometallics 2018 37 (9), 1400-1409. It includes a Reading Guide that will direct students to specific sections of the paper that were emphasized in the discussion.  This article reports a systematic study of a series of homogeneous catalysts for the conversion of glycerol to lactic acid.

Learning Goals

After reading and discussing this article, a student should be able to…

-       Apply the CBC electron-counting method to homogeneous catalysts.

-       Understand the effect of metal and/or metal oxidation state on catalyst activity.

-       Understand the effect of ligand and/or ligand charge on catalyst activity.

-       Understand the differences between microwave and conventional heating.

Implementation Notes

I am planning on assigning this LO as a graded in-class group discussion. Students will be given a copy of the article, reading guide, and discussion questions one week in advance. On the day of the discussion, students will be assigned in groups of 2-3. They will then have one lecture period to answer the questions in writing as a group. A portion of their grade (20%) is dedicated to literature discussions (4-6 over the course of the semester). The grading rubric involves 3 possible ratings for each question/answer: “excellent”, “acceptable”, or “needs work”. [This article is among the free-access ACS Editors’ Choice.]

Time Required
1 lecture period, with materials given one week in advance
Evaluation Methods

Concepts covered during literature discussions will be included among exam materials.

Evaluation Results


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