Submitted by Abby O'Connor / The College of New Jersey on Thu, 12/15/2016 - 17:28
My Notes

Reading and understanding a journal article is a critical skill to obtain as a student. After college, many students will pursue careers in which learning occurs exclusively from the literature. Students  will read a full paper from the journal Inorganic Chemistry and answer guiding questions pertaining to the article. There will be an in class discussion about the article to introduce which is used to introduce the topic of catalysis. This assignment breaks down the article through a series of questions that helps students to navigate a journal article.

Students will look copper complexes which catalyze atom transfer radical addition (ATRA) under sustainable means. 

The citation is Inorganic Chemistry 2012, 51, 11917-11929. 

Attachment Size
Guiding Questions 143.48 KB
Learning Goals
Students should be able to:
  1. Read a full journal article pertaining to organometallic chemistry
  2. Critically think about the chemical literature
  3. Read about and understand organometallic mechanistic and kinetic studies
  4. Determine that structural and electronic ligand modification influences the reactivity of catalysts
  5. Describe spectroscopic methods used to obtain rate constants
  6. Distinugish between coordinating and non-coordinating anions and effects on catalysis
  7. Define inner and outer spehere electron transfer and relate this to the proposed reaction mechanism
  8. Explain the mechanistic studies done to probe the lability of the TPMA ligand
Implementation Notes

I conducted this with a class of senior and junior chemistry majors and it went very well! This is a very long article so you could break this up into more basic topic and then more challenging ones.

Some of these questions could also be used on an exam. 

The questions are doable as students in the course actually helped develop these questions. I broke the article up into sections and assigned each section to a group of 4 students who were required to develop at least two questions per section. I then helped form the questions with the students. This model worked well and may be of interest to other people in the community.

But this assignment can be delivered as is - as a literature assignment with the focus on electron transfer, catalysis, mechanistic studies, and kinetics.

Time Required
50 minutes to 1 hour
Evaluation Methods

I had the students prepare for the discussion before class by reading the entire article. Students then answered the guiding questions in small groups during a class period.

I graded this assignment based upon class participation. All 33 students participated in the discussion. 

Evaluation Results

The average grade on this assignment was an A. Students very much enjoyed reading an article from the literature and connecting it to topics we discussed in class. This article opened up our discussion on catalysis and mechanisms. The article nicely describes the rational design of experiments to probe and catalytic reaction. 

Good paper to introduce kinetics and mechanistic studies.

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