First year

23 Oct 2016
Description: 

See the attachement. 

Topics Covered: 
Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
16 Sep 2016

Safety is job one

Submitted by Alice Lenthe, Villanova University
Description: 

This five slides about came to be from a discussion that happened after Marta Guron and Jared Paul gave a talk at the Philly ACS in Fall 2016. This is a modified version of a presentation given to all chemistry students regarding the proper handling and disposal of chemicals. Certain details will need to be modified to fit your individual institutions. The particular focus of the slides is for students to learn to turn to SDS sheets before using chemicals and to be able to read the labels on chemicals and understand the associated safety concerns.

Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

After completing this training students should be able to 

1) Know how to access an SDS at your institution.

2) Know how to read an SDS in order to know the proper safety protocols for handling a given chemical.

3) Know how to properly dispose of chemicals at your institition.

 

Implementation Notes: 

The answers to the quiz were taken from an SDS found on the Aldrich website. Links are provided below.

 

At the time of this posting I am the director of environmental health and safety at Villanova University. I am not a regular VIPEr user, but was encourage to post these materials and did so with help from Chip Nataro. Hopefully the community finds a use the materials I have developed at Villanova.

27 Jul 2016

Symbolize It All

Submitted by Fabiola Barrios Landeros, Yeshiva University
Evaluation Methods: 

This activity was tried as a stretch break during a summer program for a group of about 25 high school students at Columbia Univesity. 

Evaluation Results: 

All students jumped in the activity. They worked mostly individually to explore the possible spellings of their names or last names.

Once done, they spelled the names with symbols on post-it notes and pasted them on the side wall. This classroom was used exclusively for a summer program, so students left up their post its as decorations during the following weeks.

Since I had the answer key with the "symbolized" roster, I pointed out the names that were missing and gave them hints and a couple extra minutes to complete the task.

About one third of the class was able to "symbolize" their first name or last name.

We declared as winners the student that used the most symbols and the student that had three different ways to spell her last name. They won a small periodic table poster.

The whole activity took 12-15 min. 

Description: 

This is an HTML program that helps you spell with symbols of chemical elements for anything you want. Just cut and paste the text, paragraph or list of names you would like to "symbolize" in the left field. The program automatically displays the words that could be spelled with chemical symbols in the right field. When a word has more than one possible spelling, all of the possible combinations are displayed on a single line.

The program is compatible with most web browsers and it is simple to use. Just download the file and click to open. It will automatically open in your default browser. 

 
NOTE: The creative commons license applies to this specific LO. The Copyright and License from the author of the HTML program is described in the file. I obtained this file from the author with verbal permision to post and distribute it on ionicviper.org.  
Learning Goals: 

Students will review names and symbols of the elements in the periodic table.

Student and instructor will get acquainted and learn the names of some of their classmates. 

Instructor will break the ice with an educational and friendly competition.

 

Corequisites: 
Subdiscipline: 
Course Level: 
Equipment needs: 

Large periodic table in your classroom or an image projected from your computer. 

Instructor should "translate" the class roster into chemical symbols ahead of time and bring the print out of the answer key to class. 

Board to write the answers. 

Square post-it notes and markers (optional).

Topics Covered: 
Prerequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 
The activity will engage students with the periodic table, break the ice and help the instructor remember the names of some students. This could be used on the first day of an intro chem class. 
 
Challenge students to try to spell their first name and/or last name using only symbols of chemical elements.
 
Make sure there is a large periodic table in your classroom, otherwise project an image from your computer. 
 
Once they find a spelling, they can write it on the board or spell their names using square post-it notes and markers to decorate the wall.  
 
Example:
  
    
 
Set up a contest and give a small price (like a periodic table) for the one that used the most elements, or the one that could spell his/her name AND last name, the one that adds up the highest atomic numbers, the one with two alternative spellings, etc. 
 
Instructors should "translate" the class roster into chemical symbols ahead of time and bring the print out of the answer key to class. In this way, the instructor can tell which names are missing and challenge students to keep trying. Don't forget to include also the names of TAs'and your own name to participate.
 
Students need about 5 minutes to explore the periodic table and find a "symbolized" spelling of their names and a couple of minutes to post the answers where everyone can see them. Instructor can then check the names that are missing (give them a hint) and give extra 3 minutes to try again.
 
OTHER POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS:

This program can have a diverse list of applications. You wil find it very useful whether you are breaking the ice on the first day of classes, writing a novel only using chemical symbols or choosing a chemical baby name.

TRIVIA: Did you know? Using the data from the US Census, 12% of all girls names and 16% of all boys names can be spelled with element symbols.

And the winning names with the most spellings are:

For girl, Ninasimone: ['NINAsIMoNe', 'NINaSIMoNe', 'NINaSiMoNe', 'NInAsIMoNe', 'NiNAsIMoNe', 'NiNaSIMoNe', 'NiNaSiMoNe']

For boy, Kostandinos: ['KOSTaNdINOS', 'KOSTaNdINOs', 'KOSTaNdINoS', 'KOSTaNdInOS', 'KOSTaNdInOs', 'KOsTaNdINOS', 'KOsTaNdINOs', 'KOsTaNdINoS', 'KOsTaNdInOS', 'KOsTaNdInOs']

 

 

 

Time Required: 
This exercise can be used as a 15 min ice breaker for the first day of intro chem.
8 Jul 2016

Developing a rubric for a learning object

Submitted by Joanne Stewart, Hope College
Description: 

A rubric articulates the expectations for an assignment and enables faculty to assess student work in a rapid and consistent manner.

This Five-Slides About was developed for the TUES 2016 workshop Organometallica at University of Michigan. It was presented in conjunction with Chip Nataro's modeling of the development of a literature discussion learning object (Ligand effects in titration calorimetry from the Angelici lab).

The PowerPoint contains examples of different types of rubrics, describes a resource with many examples of rubrics, and introduces the development of a rubric for the Angelici literature discussion learning object.

 

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

Faculty will be able to describe what a rubric is and be able to write one for a student assignment.

Implementation Notes: 

At the 2016 workshop, participants worked in small groups to develop the rubric for the Angelici learning object. 

Time Required: 
The presentation takes about 15 minutes. Asking participants to actively construct a rubric takes longer.
Evaluation
Evaluation Methods: 

Faculty were asked to write descriptions of "excellent," "acceptable," and "needs work" responses for two of the questions in the Angelici learning object.

Evaluation Results: 

The participant-sourced rubric will be published with the Angelici LO. During the rubric writing exercise, faculty learned that writing a rubric is different than writing an answer key. Some participants wrote their rubric and then realized that they wouldn’t be able to share it with students because it contained the answer. They went back and changed the language so that it described the EXPECTATIONS for what a good answer would contain and not the answer itself.

30 Jun 2016

Chemical Information Available on the Web

Submitted by Matthew Riehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Evaluation Methods: 

Typically the assignment is assessed based on how thoroughly the report is completed. It should be noted that the results often depend on the search terms chosen, and a difficult topic should not penalize the student.  When choosing a chemical to find information on, the students select a CAS registry number and (all too often) choose a number that relates to an inert ingredient or uncharacterized component, for which no chemical information is available.  

Evaluation Results: 

Students typically do well if they spend the time.  The most common omission is including the interlibrary loan material with the report (we have a small library and rely heavily on ILL)

 

Description: 

This exercise introduces students to many chemical resources found on the internet.  Rather than being geared for upper-division chemistry majors, much of the material introduced is appropriate for freshmen and sophomore level students (although more advanced students will also benefit from the exercise).  The “web guide” contains links to many search engines and resources with brief descriptions of each while the “web report” has a number of exercises that asks students to search for chemical information.  The assignment is self-guided; students are encouraged to choose topic of interest to them.  Notably, this assignment does not introduce ACS or other chemical journal sites or SciFinder, but does introduce resources (many .gov) geared for the general population.

Learning Goals: 

In completing this assignment, students will become familiar with internet search engines and other web based resources for chemical information, toxicity information, drug information, etc.  In addition, links to several free chemical structure drawing tools are provided.

 

Equipment needs: 

Computers and internet access -- I typically meet in a computer lab and students often complete the assignment on their own time.

Course Level: 
Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 

I have used this as a laboratory exercise, but may also be a homework assignment.  My primary observations are that the students suffer from “information overload” after working on this assignment for an entire lab period, and that students do not always retain the knowledge to the next semester.  It may be a good idea to plan additional assignments to reinforce these search engines during the semester.  I also ensure that the Web-Guide is always available to the students as a resource.

Time Required: 
At least three hours.
30 Jun 2016

Cyclic voltammetry animations

Submitted by George Lisensky, Beloit College
Evaluation Methods: 

This approach has been used for several years in an analytical course as preparation for a cyclic voltammetry lab experiment. 

Evaluation Results: 

Most students who have spent 20 minutes engaged with the material can interpret their cyclic voltammetry lab results.

Description: 

This is a question based approach for a discovery activity about cyclic voltammetry. The slider bar on a movie can used to control a variable and the displayed graph is updated to show the results. (You could also just play the movie to get an idea of what changes.)

The questions to be answered are

What is the shape of a cyclic voltammogram?

How are cyclic voltammograms affected by E0?

How are cyclic voltammograms affected by concentration?

How are redox equilibria affected by scan rate?

What if there are two reductions?

How are cyclic voltammograms affected by the electron transfer rate?

How are cyclic voltammograms affected by changing scan rate if the electron transfer is slow?

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Subdiscipline: 
Learning Goals: 

Students will understand how to interpret the shape of a simple cyclic voltammogram and the effects of redox potential, concentration, scan rate, and electron transfer rate.

Implementation Notes: 

This can be used in lecture or assigned as homework/reading.

Time Required: 
20 minutes
28 Jun 2016

Close Packing Activity

Submitted by George Lisensky, Beloit College
Evaluation Methods: 

This has been used by the author to illustrate features of class packing in lecture. 

Description: 

Many extended structures can be viewed as close-packed layers of large anions, with the smaller cations fitting in between the anions. Larger holes between close-packed anions can hold cations with octahedral coordination. Smaller holes between close-packed anions can hold cations with tetrahedral coordination. The online jsmol resources show these layers and their holes.

Learning Goals: 

Students will understand octahedral and tetrahedral holes between close packing layers (either hcp or ccp)

Equipment needs: 

A physical model kit such as the ICE Solid State Model Kit (see the related activities) could be used. With the linked web resources for this activity students can display individual layers and the holes between them. Both physical and virtual models are valuable learning tools. Either could be used separately depending on availability but they work together well.

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 

For cubic close packing

Click on item 1 and click on Spacefill. Click on item 2 and item 4. What is the arrangement of atoms around each other in Pa, Pb, and Pc layers?

Click on item 1, then item 3, then item 5 to stack layers. The image can be rotated by dragging. You can add or subtract layers by backing up a step or going forward. You can switch between Ball, Spacefill, and Translucent representations.

To repeat the sequence, where should the next layer go? Click on step 6.

Step 7 shows that these layers contain a face-centered cube, stacked along its body diagonal.

Similarly you can experiment by filling in the spaces between the layers. Where can you fit tetrahedra between the packing spheres? Where can you fit octahedra between the packing spheres?

Try switching the display to Ball and Stick with Translucent Polyhedra.

A similar procedure can be used to examine hexagonal close packing.

A note about color: steps with color names in them change the color. Other steps do not. For example if you want the layers different colors use step 1, 2, 4, 7; if you want the layers the same color use steps 1, 3, 5, 6.

Time Required: 
30 minutes
27 Jun 2016

Online Homework for a Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry Course

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

Students are graded on a sliding scale based on the number of attempts on each question. An overall grade is assigned at the end of the semester, adjusted to the number of points allotted for the homework in the syllabus. 

Evaluation Results: 

Student performance on the overall homework assignments for the semester includes questions assigned on General Chemistry topics that are part of this class syllabus. 

 201420152016
Number404741
Average89%80%83%
S.D.15%19%23%

In addition to gethering data on overall  performance, I and my student assistants, Loren Wolfin and Marissa Strumolo, have completed a statistical study to assess performance on individual questions, and to identify problem questions that need to be edited. We identified two separate issues: incorrect/poorly worded questions, and assignment of level of difficulty. Five problematic questions were identified and edited. The level of difficulty was reassigned for eight questions rated as medium (level 2); six were reassigned as difficult (level 3), and two were reassigned as easy (level 1). I look forward to assessing student performance in Spring 2017 in light of these improvements. Please feel free to implement this Sapling homework in your class, and help in the improvement/evolution of this database.

Description: 

The Committee on Professional Training (CPT) has restructured accreditation of Chemistry-related degrees, removing the old model of one year each of General, Analytical, Organic, and Physical Chemistry plus other relevant advanced classes as designed by the individual department. The new model (2008) requires one semester each in the five Foundation areas: Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, Biochemistry and Physical Chemistry, leaving General Chemistry as an option, with the development of advanced classes up to the individual departments. This has caused an upheaval in the treatment of Inorganic Chemistry, elevating it to be on equal footing with the other, more ‘traditional’ subdisciplines which has meant the decoupling of General Chemistry from introduction to Inorganic Chemistry. No commercial online homework system includes sets for either Foundations or Advanced Inorganic Chemistry topics. Sapling online homework (www.saplinglearning.com) has been open to professor authors of homework problems; they have a limited database of advanced inorganic chemistry problems produced by a generous and industrious faculty person. I have developed a homework set for a semester­-long freshman/sophomore level Inorganic Chemistry course aligned to the textbook Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry by Rayner-Canham and Overton (ISBN 1-4641-2560-0, www.whfreeman.com/descriptive6e ), and have test run it three times. Question development, analysis of student performance and troubleshooting in addition to topic choices, are critical to this process, especially in light of new information about what topics are taught in such a course (Great Expectations: Using an Analysis of Current Practices To Propose a Framework for the Undergraduate Inorganic Curriculum: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b01320 ).This is an ongoing process, and I am working to improve the database all the time.

Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
Course Level: 
Learning Goals: 

1.      Increase understanding in these topic areas:

a.      Acid-base chemistry and solvent systems

b.      Bonding models of inorganic molecules and complexes

c.      Bonding models in extended systems (solids)

d.      Descriptive chemistry and Periodic Trends

e.      Electronic structure of inorganic molecules, complexes and solids

f.       Extended structures: unit cells and other solid-state structural features

g.      Molecular structure and shape of inorganic molecules

h.      Inorganic Complexes nomenclature, bonding and shapes

i.       Redox chemistry and application to inorganic systems

j.       Thermodynamics as applied to inorganic solids and inorganic systems

2.      Practice using knowledge in these topic areas:

a.      Acid-base chemistry and solvent systems

b.      Bonding models of inorganic molecules and complexes

c.      Bonding models in extended systems (solids)

d.      Descriptive chemistry and Periodic Trends

e.      Electronic structure of inorganic molecules, complexes and solids

f.       Extended structures: unit cells and other solid-state structural features

g.      Molecular structure and shape of inorganic molecules

h.      Inorganic Complexes nomenclature, bonding and shapes

i.       Redox chemistry and application to inorganic systems

j.       Thermodynamics as applied to inorganic solids and inorganic systems

Implementation Notes: 

The database of homework questions is available through Sapling Learning. They can be implemented as an online homework set for a class. Students need to buy access to the Sapling online homework for the duration of the class, typically $45.

Time Required: 
variable
27 Jun 2016
Evaluation Methods: 

Students should be able to generate a formal lab report and detail methods of isotopic substitution for frequency determination. They will showcase their experimental data and compare to their theoretical prediction. They will need to be very clear about how they calculated their theoretical frequency.

Description: 

This experiment explores isotopic substitution as a method to identify stretching frequencies and linking experimentally determined parameters with theoretical predictions utilizing a simple harmonic oscillator obeying Hooke’s law.

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

Students will use IR spectroscopy and isotopic substituion in order to predict theoretical frequency shifts in IR spectra of an O-H bond.

Students will synthesize their results into an organized and coherent lab report as described in the student instructions.

Course Level: 
Equipment needs: 

FT-IR

Salt plates

CH3OH and CH3OD

Implementation Notes: 

If you are using this in a sophomore level class, it will be important to spend time discussing organic functional groups and where they show up in the IR spectra. I also spend time discussing correlations between bond strengths and bond lengths and how these are related to IR stretching frequencies. Importantly, any isotopically substituted molecule would work so that an analysis of different types of organic functional groups would enhance this lab.

Time Required: 
3 hours
27 Jun 2016

Solid State Stoichiometry Activity

Submitted by George Lisensky, Beloit College
Evaluation Methods: 

We provide a built solid state 3D physical model that the students had not previously seen as a quiz question where students are asked to show their work in calculating the stoichiometry.

See the evaluation questions and activity answer key in the faculty-only files.

Evaluation Results: 

Most students have been able to explain the empirical formula for any of these structures. They sometimes struggle with the difference between a corner, an edge, a face, and inside the unit cell. Students are generally able to determine the stoichiometry for an extended solid that they have not previously seen.

Description: 

The goal of this activity is to have students calculate the empirical formula of a compound given the contents of a unit cell. 

A repeating building block, or unit cell, is used to represent extended structures since shifting a unit cell along its edges by the length of the edge will exactly replicate the extended structure.

In determining stoichiometry for an extended structure only the fraction of an atom within the unit cell counts. In three-dimensions atoms can be shared between unit cells on corners, on edges and on faces of the unit cell. Atoms on corners are shared by eight unit cells, atoms on edges are shared by four cells and atoms on faces are shared by two cells. Therefore only one-eighth of a corner atom, one-quarter of an edge atom and one-half of an atom on a face is in any one unit cell. The total number of atoms in a unit cell is given by:

Assignment:

For five solid state structures determine the empirical formula. Show your work by indicating how many spheres of each type have their centers located inside the unit cell, on faces, on edges, or on corners. (A given sphere only has one location: inside, face, edge, and corner locations are mutually exclusive.)

Learning Goals: 

Students can determine the empirical formula from an extended solid state structure.

Students will be able to understand that a unit cell represents the contents of an extended solid.

Equipment needs: 

A physical model kit such as the ICE Solid State Model Kit (see the related activities) could be used. With physical models students have to visualize the portion of each atom that is within the unit cell.

With the linked web resources for this activity students can use the "faces" option to shade the faces of the unit cell to help visualize the portion of each atom that is within the unit cell.

Both physical and virtual models are valuable learning tools. Either could be used separately depending on availability but they work together well.

Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 

Cubic unit cells are appropriate for an introductory course. The advanced unit cells include all crystal systems and centering options.

We have used a physical model kit to build solid state structures in class for many years. After building a few structures, students often want to try some more structures. These online models were created to allow continued study and practice out of class.

Time Required: 
1 hour

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