First year

17 Jul 2018

Stoichiometric Calculations: A General Chemistry Flipped Classroom Module

Submitted by Jack F Eichler, University of California, Riverside
Evaluation Methods: 

1) Performance on the pre-lecture online quiz

2) Performance on the in-class activity (clicker scores or hand-graded worksheet)

Evaluation Results: 

Students generally score on average 70% or higher on the pre-lecdure quiz, and on average 70% or more of students correctly answer the in-class clicker questions. As  noted in the worksheet answer key, question #4 generally gives students the most trouble as they may not yet have learned how to sum a series of reactions to yield an overall reaction. Instructors are encoruaged to do an example of this in the acitivty introduction. 

Description: 

This is a flipped classroom activity intended for use in a first semester general chemistry course. Students are expected to have prior knowledge in determining the molar mass of compounds, how to carry out mole/gram conversions, and how to write balanced chemical reactions. The activity includes:

1) pre-lecture learning videos that guide students through carrying out basic stoichiometric calculations, determining the limiting reactant, and determining the percent yield of a reaction;

2) a pre-lecture interactive tutorial that helps students learn the concept of limiting reactant;

3) pre-lecture quiz questions; and

4) an in-class activity that requires students to apply their knowledge of stoichiometry and limiting reactant in the real-world application of converting coal to liquid fuel.

Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1504989. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

 

Learning Goals: 

Students are expected to complete the following learning objectives:

a) using mole-gram conversions and mole-mole conversions to carry out stoichiometric calculations for balanced chemical reactions;

b) gaining appreciation for how stoichiometric calculations are used in real-world chemical reactions.

Prior to completing this activity, students will be expected to have learned how to use molar masses of elements and compounds to carry out mole-gram conversions, how to balance chemical reactions, and how to use balanced chemical reactions to carry out mole-mole conversions.

 

Equipment needs: 

Suggested technology:

1) online test/quiz function in course management system

2) in-class response system (clickers)

Corequisites: 
Subdiscipline: 
Topics Covered: 
Prerequisites: 
Course Level: 
Implementation Notes: 

Attached as separate file. 

Time Required: 
50-80 minutes
25 Jun 2018

Orbital Overlap and Interactions

Submitted by Jocelyn Pineda Lanorio, Illinois College
Evaluation Methods: 

Evaluation was conducted by the instructor walking around the computer lab to check progress and address the issues students had.

Evaluation Results: 

This LO was implemented once in advanced inorganic chemistry composed of 5 chemistry major students. Students clearly identified the type of orbital interactions and differentiated bonding, nonbonding, and antibonding MOs. Students commented that this is a great in-class activity before the discussion of MOs for diatomic molecules (Chapter 5 of MFT).

Description: 

This is a simple in-class activity that asks students to utilize any of the given available online orbital viewers to help them identify atomic orbital overlap and interactions. 

Learning Goals: 

Following the activity, students will be able to:

  1. draw the s, p, and d atomic orbitals using the given coordinate axes
  2. analyze the orbital interaction by looking at their symmetry and overlap (or lack of)
  3. differentiate s, p, d, and nonbonding molecular orbital

 

Equipment needs: 

Internet connection and computer

Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 

This activity should be run in a computer lab.

Time Required: 
15 to 20 minutes
23 Jun 2018

Bonding in Tetrahedral Tellurate (updated and expanded)

Submitted by Jocelyn Pineda Lanorio, Illinois College
Evaluation Results: 

This LO was developed for the Summer 2018 VIPEr workshop, and has not yet been implemented. Results will be updated after implementation.

Description: 

This literature discussion is an expansion of a previous LO (https://www.ionicviper.org/literature-discussion/tetrahedral-tellurate) and based on  a 2008 Inorganic Chemistry article http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ic701578p

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

Upon completion of this activity, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the key aspects of a primary publication including significance, synthetic methods, and product characterization.
  1. Identify isoelectronic species by drawing Lewis Structures.  
  1. Apply standard NMR shielding/deshielding concepts to interpret heteronuclear NMR spectra.
  1. Identify experimental protocols and reaction conditions.
  1. Discuss how the various experimental methods in the article provide evidence of the structure of the compound.
  1. Recognize scientific nomenclature relevant to the research article.
  1. Identify the relationship of telluric acid and tellurate to the related species given in the paper based on periodic trends. (Periodic Acid - isoelectronic; Sulfuric and Selenic acid - same column)
  1. Compare bond lengths for species in the paper.
  1. Identify the point group of the TeO42- with all the same Te-O bond lengths and when with different Te-O bond lengths.
  1. Predict the product(s) and by-products of a chemical reaction.
  1. Identify species and intermolecular interactions in a crystal structure.

 

Related activities: 
Implementation Notes: 

Students are asked to read the paper and answer the discussion questions before coming to class. 

Time Required: 
50 +
22 Jun 2018
Evaluation Methods: 

An answer key is included for faculty.

Evaluation Results: 

This LO was developed for the summer 2018 VIPEr workshop, and has not yet been implemented.  Results will be updated after implementation.

Description: 

This acitivty is a foundation level discussion of the Nicolai Lehnert paper, "Mechanism of N-N Bond Formation by Transition Metal-Nitrosyl Complexes: Modeling Flavodiiron Nitric Oxide Reductases".  Its focus lies in discussing MO theory as it relates to Lewis structures, as well as an analysis of the strucutre of a literature paper.

Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
Course Level: 
Learning Goals: 

Upon completion of this activity, students will be able to:

  1. Write a balanced half reaction for the conversion of NO to N2O and analyze a reaction in terms of bonds broken and bonds formed.

  2. Evaluate the structures of metal complexes to identify coordination number, geometry (reasonable suggestion), ligand denticity, and d-electron count in free FeII/FeIII centers.

  3. Recognize spin multiplicity of metal centers and ligand fragments in a complex.

  4. Interpret a reaction pathway and compare the energy requirements for each step in the reaction.

  5. Draw multiple possible Lewis Structures and use formal charges to determine the best structure.

  6. Draw molecular orbital diagrams for diatomic molecules.

  7. Identify the differences in bonding theories (Lewis vs MO), and be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.

  8. Interpret calculated MO images as σ or π bonds.

  9. Identify bond covalency by interpreting molecular orbital diagrams and data.

  10. Define key technical terms used in an article.

  11. Analyze the structure of a well written abstract.

  12. Identify the overall research goal(s) of the paper.

  13. Discuss the purposes of the different sections of a scientific paper.

Implementation Notes: 

The paper in which this discussion is centered around is very rich in concepts, and will take time for students to digest.  As the technical level is higher than most foundation level course, it is strongly recommended that students focus on the structure of the paper, and not the read the entire paper.  The discussion is modular with focuses on both MO theory drawn form the paper, as well as a general anatomy of how literature papers are organized and what constitutes a good abstract.  Either focus could take a single 50 minute lecture, with two being necessary to complete both aspects.  Instructors can choose either focus, or both depending on their course learning goals.

This was developed during the 2018 VIPEr workshop and has not yet been implemented.  The above instructions are a guide and any feedback is welcome and appreciated!

Time Required: 
One or two 50 minute lectures depending on instructor's desired focus
22 Jun 2018
Evaluation Methods: 

Discuss students responses with respect to the answer key.

Evaluation Results: 

This activty was developed for the IONiC VIPEr summer 2018 workshop, and has not yet been implemented.

Description: 

Inorganic chemists often use IR spectroscopy to evaluate bond order of ligands, and as a means of determining the electronic properties of metal fragments.  Students can often be confused over what shifts in IR frequencies imply, and how to properly evaluate the information that IR spectroscopy provides in compound characterization.  In this class activity, students are initially introduced to IR stretches using simple spring-mass systems. They are then asked to translate these visible models to molecular systems (NO in particular), and predict and calculate how these stretches change with mass (isotope effects, 14N vs 15N).  Students are then asked to identify the IR stretch of a related molecule, N2O, and predict whether the stretch provided is the new N≡N triple bond or a highly shifted N-O single bond stretch.  Students are lastly asked to generalize how stretching frequencies and bond orders are related based on their results.

 
Learning Goals: 
  1. Evaluate the effect of changes in mass on a harmonic oscillator by assembling and observing a simple spring-mass system (Q1 and 2)

  2. Apply these mass-frequency observations to NO and predict IR isotopic shift (14N vs. 15N) (Q3 and 4)

  3. Predict the identity of the diagnostic IR stretches in small inorganic molecules. (Q5, 6, and 7)

Equipment needs: 

Springs, rings, stands, and masses (100 and 200 gram weights for example).

 

Corequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 

Assemble students into small groups (2-4) discussions to answer the questions to the activity and collaborate.

 

 

Time Required: 
Approximately 50 minutes
13 Jun 2018

The Preparation and Characterization of Nanoparticles

Submitted by Kyle Grice, DePaul University
Evaluation Methods: 

Students are evaluated on their participation in lab, lab safety, lab notebook pages, and a lab report turned in a week after the last day of the experiment. 

Evaluation Results: 

This lab was first run in spring of 2016, and again in spring of 2017 and 2018 (a different instructor carried out the lab in 2018). 

In general, students do well on the lab report and seem to enjoy the experiment.They often need guidance when interpreting the Analytical Chemistry article and selecting the correct equations. Discussing their values with them in office hours ("does that make sense?") helps them understand their calculations. 

A sample lab report that scored above 90% is included in the faculty-only files. 

Description: 

This is a nanochemistry lab I developed for my Junior and Senior level Inorganic Chemistry course. I am NOT a nano/matertials person, but I know how important nanochemistry is and I wanted to make something where students could get an interesting introduction to the area. The first time I ran this lab was also the first time I made gold nanoparticles ever! 

We do not have any surface/nano instrumentation here (AFM, SEM/TEM, DLS, etc... we can access them at other universities off-campus but that takes time and scheduling), so that was a key limitation in making this lab. 

While it was made for an upper-division course, I think It could be adapted and implemented at many levels, including gen chem. I do not spend much time on nano in the lecture (none in fact), so this lab was made to have students learn a bit about nanochemistry somewhere in inorganic chemistry. We have one 10-week quarter of inorganic lecture and lab, offered every spring quarter.

This lab takes approximately 2-3 hours if students are well prepared and using their time well, but is usually spread over 2 days. Students are concurrently doing experiments for another lab or two because we have a lab schedule that overlaps multiple labs, and can do these during one day or across two days. The lab space is an organic chemistry laboratory, so we have access to the usual lab synthetic equipment

Students in thelaboratory write lab reports,which are the due the week after the last day of the lab experiment. In the lab report they use their UV-Vis data to calculate information about the AuNP. 

The lab has been posted, as well two photos from students' ferrofluids (these were posted with permission on our departmental blog). A rubric has been posted as a faculty-only file. I have also included a student submission that received over 90% on the lab with their identifying information removed. Students write and introduction and need to cite journal articles in their report, so they are expected to do reading on nanochemistry topics outside of the lab period as they write their reports. 

I am sure the lab can be improved, this was what i came up with the materials and time I had. I plan on continuing to revise and edit it as time goes on. Any suggestions are very welcome! 

Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

A student should be able to perform a chemical laboratory experiment safely and follow proper lab notebook protocol.

A student should be able to determine the average size of AuNPs from spectroscopic data and primary literature.

A student should determine atomic and nano-scale information from physical properties.

A student should be able to construct a lab report in the style of an ACS article (Students in my lab wrote lab reports for each experiment). 

Equipment needs: 

For this experiment, you  need

The chemical materials - HAuCl4, trisodium citrate, 

Heating/stirring plates

Glassware

UV-Vis spectrometer (mainly Vis)

A laser pointer

Strong magnets (the stronger and larger the better)

Implementation Notes: 

The syntheses are relatively straightforward, although we've had some problems getting "spikes" for the ferrofluid. Anecdotally, adding the reagents and doing the steps faster tends to give better "spiking". Some students just see a blob moving around in response to the magnet, which was fine in terms of their report. 

The AuNP synthesis can also be done with an ultrasonicator or by addition of sodium borohydride, among other methods. We don't have them make a calibration curve of chloride addition, but that could be a possibility.  

I like having a pre-made solution of a red oroganic dye to shine the laser pointer through to compare versus the laser shining through the AuNP solution. 

One year, the AuNP synthesis was going very slow. We realized it was because the Au(III) was diluted in acid, so it was protonating the citrate. Boiling for a while before adding the citrate solution helped fix this problem.

KAuCl3 is also a good source of Au(III) for this lab. 

Time Required: 
2 hours
8 May 2018

Developing Effective Lab Report Abstracts based on Literature Examples

Submitted by Katherine Nicole Crowder, University of Mary Washington
Evaluation Methods: 

I use a rubric that I have developed (see attached).

They are graded out of 50 points: 5 points per category on the rubric.

Evaluation Results: 

Most students score between 40-49 on this assignment. They mostly lose points for grammar, including things that they shouldn't (which hits them in two categories - conciseness and only relevant information included), and forgetting to write a title.

Description: 

For inorganic lab, I have my students write their lab reports in the style of the journal Inorganic Chemistry. The first week of lab, we spend time in small groups looking at several examples of recent articles from Inorganic Chemistry, focusing mainly on the experimental section and the abstract (as these are included in every lab report). We then come back together as a class to have a discussion of each of the sections in the articles. We discuss what was included in each section, what wasn’t included, and the style, tone, tense, and voice of each section. I keep a running list of what we discuss to post on our CMS. It is a great opportunity to discuss the expectations for lab reports for this course (and they feel like they have a say in what they will be expected to include), and it is also a time to highlight what may be done slightly differently in inorganic versus some of the other sub-disciplines.

Following this discussion, I provide them with another current article from Inorganic Chemistry, except this time I have removed the abstract and all identifying information (authors, title, volume, page numbers, etc.) using editing (white boxes over the information) in pdf. Their assignment is to read through the article and then write their own title and abstract, keeping in mind the elements of our discussion as they write.

Since this is very early in the semester, I try to choose an interesting article that won’t be completely over their head. I also stress that they don’t have to completely understand the results to write about them, as they are usually summarized nicely in the conclusions section. Since I expect them to focus mainly on their results in their lab report abstracts, I try to choose articles that have a lot of numerical and spectral data to incorporate.

This year I chose

Systematic Doping of Cobalt into Layered Manganese Oxide Sheets Substantially Enhances Water Oxidation Catalysis

Ian G. McKendry, Akila C. Thenuwara, Samantha L. Shumlas, Haowei Peng, Yaroslav V. Aulin, Parameswara Rao Chinnam, Eric Borguet, Daniel R. Strongin, and Michael J. Zdilla

Inorganic Chemistry 2018 57 (2), 557-564

DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.7b01592

The students are evaluated based on their inclusion of the aspects of abstracts that we discussed, their summarization of the main findings of the article, and their grammar.

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

A student should be able to:

  • Identify common aspects of sections of literature article examples, namely the abstract and experimental section
  • Read a current literature article from Inorganic Chemistry and identify the main findings in order to write their own abstract for the article
  • Use these experiences to guide their writing for lab reports for the inorganic lab course
Equipment needs: 

None.

Implementation Notes: 

I bring 3-4 examples of articles that have abstracts that incorporate elements that I want them to include in their lab report abstracts. I bring 3-4 examples of articles that are mainly synthetic for their experimental sections, as that is what their labs will be mostly. I post these examples to our CMS after lab.

I split students into groups of 3-4 to look over the articles, then we come back together as whole class for the discussion. It is interesting to see what the different groups pick up on.

I bring my tablet to take notes on during the discussion, then post that on the CMS as well.

I have posted the discussion summary from this spring.

Links to the article I used for the abstract writing assignment and the articles I used for the in-class discussion are below.

Time Required: 
30-45 minutes
18 Apr 2018

A use for organic textbooks

Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College
Description: 

This morning before class I was picking on one of my students for having her organic chemistry textbook out on her desk. I believe I said something along the lines of 'how dare you contaminate my classroom with that!' She explained how she had an exam today and I let it drop. That is until later in the class when I was teaching about chelates. I had a sudden inspiration. I asked the student to pick up her organic book with one hand. I then warned her that I was going to smack the book. I did and she dropped it. Based on the size of most organic textbooks, I believe that very few people would be able to hold on to one with one hand while it is being smacked. I then handed her back the book and asked her to hold it with two hands while I smacked it. Sure enough, she was able to maintain her grasp of the book. I think this rather simple deomonstration did a surprisingly good job of driving home the point.

Learning Goals: 

From this in-class activity students will develop a simple appreciation for the chelate effect.

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Topics Covered: 
Course Level: 
Equipment needs: 

Organic (or p-chem) textbook

22 Jan 2018

Streamlining Lab Report Grading: Errors Checklists

Submitted by Sabrina G. Sobel, Hofstra University
Evaluation Methods: 

Errors Checklists are most effective when you list the most common errors with explanations. You will see if you are successful if you use the items on the checklist repeatedly in your grading. Students will better understand their grades because of the clear communication of their errors. You should see a reduction of student inquiries as to why a certain grade was assigned on lab work.

Evaluation Results: 

My students really appreciate the errors checklists because my expectations and my grading choices are made clear. I have found that the formulation of Errors Checklists cause me to focus on and articulate the most common students errors; I subsequently pay more attention to the items in my pre-lab lectures, and student misunderstanding has decreased.

Description: 

I present a format for more effective communiction of errors in lab reports to students that I term Errors Checklists. Grading lab reports are one of the banes of our existence as professors. They are endless, unremitting papers that need to be scrutinized for accuracy, precision and understanding. Instead of tearing your hair out at the fifteenth report in which the student failed to use to proper number of significant figures, or failed to produce a readable graph, why not just breezily check a box on your Errors Checklist (in which you have provided a complete and thoughtful explanation), and staple to the student report?

I have created and used Errors Checklists for General Chemistry and Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry lab classes for almost two decades. I have passed them on to junior colleagues in my department, which they have modified to suit their needs. Errors Checklists lower my anxiety and anger when grading multiple lab reports, and provide clearer communication with students.

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Topics Covered: 
Learning Goals: 

1. More effective communication of student errors on lab reports.

2. Streamline lab report grading to enable quick turnaround to students.

3. Better communicate expectations on lab reports to enable students to improve performance during the semester.

Equipment needs: 

None.

Implementation Notes: 

You need to develop your own Errors Checklists customized for the experiments in your curriculum. A template is provided. I have included two example checklists; the first is for a Chemical Kinetics lab in which students determine the orders WRT iodide and peroxide for the iodine clock reaction. The second is for the synthesis of potassium alum from aluminum foil, with supplemental analysis of the unit cell (available online).

Time Required: 
not applicable

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