Nomenclature

31 Jul 2017

Inorganic Nomenclature: Naming Coordination Compounds

Submitted by Gary L. Guillet, Armstrong State University
Evaluation Methods: 

For my course I grade this assignment as a problem set.  Upon collecting the assignment I do not exhaustively grade them.  I check them over for completness.  I tell the students when I hand it out that it is designed for them to learn and then test their own comprehension and if they are stuck they should bring issues to office hours. 

On the following exam I put two or three inorganic complex names and have the students draw the structures.  The test questions always incorporate isomerism in addition to combinations of common ligands and transition metals.

Evaluation Results: 

After completion of this assignment most students are able to draw straigthforward structures including some isomers on an exam.  They can identify common ligands from their names like water, ammonia, carbon monoxide.  They also understand the common conventions in naming including handling cis and trans isomers as well as fac and mer isomers.

In the most recent sample of ACS examinations (IN16D) 87% of my students answerd correctly on the question most directly related to this assignment, selecting the correct name of a given complex using a picture of the complex.  I do not have any comparative data from another teaching approach.

Description: 

I do not like to take a large amount of time in class to cover nomenclature of any kind though I want students to know the names of common ligands and the basic ideas of how coordination complexes are named.  Since it is a systematic topic I assign this guided inquiry worksheet.   The students complete it outside of class and can work at whatever pace they want.  If they are more familiar with the topics the can quickly complete it but if they are rusty or have not seen some of the material it gives them an easy entry point to ask questions to fill in any gaps in their knowledge.  This assignment covers determing charge on a metal in a complex with simple ligands, how to identify and name common isomers, and it is structured in a guided inquiry form. 

Learning Goals: 

Students will be able to identify and correctly name common ligands in a chemical structure or chemical name.

Students will be able to identify the charge on a metal or a ligand in a chemical structure.

Students will be able to identify common isomeric differences in a chemical structure or a chemical formula (cis, trans, fac, mer). 

Students will be able to use a chemical name to draw a chemical structure.

Equipment needs: 

None

Topics Covered: 
Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 

I use this assignment to replace a lengthy lecture on the topic of nomenclature when covering coordination chemistry.  I have students complete this assignment outside of class.  I encourage them to work in pairs so students can jointly interpret the instructions and determine the patterns in naming complexes.  The assignment is constructed in a very straightforward manner and covers the basics of inorganic nomenclature.

Upon completion of the assignment I take about 15-20 minutes in class to quickly cover the main ideas of the assignment.  I field any questions that arose during the assignment and I do a few comprehension check type questions on the board. 

Time Required: 
1-2 hours
26 Mar 2017

Formulas and Nomenclature of Compounds

Submitted by Sarah Shaner, Southeast Missouri State University
Evaluation Methods: 

The activity was not graded. After students work through the problems in pairs, we come back together as a class and discuss any problems that caused the students trouble.

Description: 

Students will be given the formula for a cation or anion on a slip of paper or index card. He or she will find another student with an ion with the opposite charge and practice writing the formula and naming the ionic compound that would result by combining the cation and anion. Students also answer a few questions about naming and formulas of binary molecular compounds with their partner.

Learning Goals: 
  • Become better acquainted with their classmates and get used to working in groups.
  • Construct formulas for ionic compounds based on ion charges.
  • Practice naming ionic and molecular compounds based on their formulas.
Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Equipment needs: 

The instructor will need scissor and/or index cards to prepare the slips of paper or cards with ion names on them.

Topics Covered: 
Course Level: 
Subdiscipline: 
Implementation Notes: 

I typically give cations to one half of the room and anions to the other half. This means that students must move around the room to find a suitable partner. Since this is early in the semester, this helps with getting students to talk and work with people in the class they may not know.

Time Required: 
About 20 minutes
4 Jan 2017
Description: 

This is a great new textbook by George Luther III from the University of Delaware.  The textbook represents the results of a course he has taught for graduate students in chemical oceanography, geochemistry and related disciplines.  It is clear that the point of the book is to provide students with the core material from inorganic chemistry that they will  need to explain inorganic processes in the environment.  However the material is presented in such a clear, logical fashion and builds so directly on fundamental principles of physical inorganic chemistry that the book is actually applicable to a much broader audience.  It provides a very welcome presentation of frontier orbital theory as a guide to predicting and explaining much inorganic chemical reactivity.  There are numerous very  helpful charts and tables and diagrams.  I found myself using the book for a table of effective nuclear charges when I was teaching general chemistry last semester.  The examples are much more interesting that the typical textbook examples and would be easy to embellish and structure a course around.  There is also a helpful companion website that provides powerpoint slides, student exercises and answers.  The book covers some topics not typically seen in inorganic textbooks like the acidity of solids but the presentation of this information makes sense in light of the coherent framework of the text.  We so often tell our students "structure dictates function".  This text really make good on that promise.  My only complaint is that I wish the title were something more generic so that I could use it for a second semester of introductory-esque material that we teach after students have taken a single semester of intro chem and two semesters of organic chemistry.  So much of what is covered in this textbook is precisely what a second semester sophomore chemistry major should know before proceeding on in the major.  But the title makes the book hard to sell to chemistry majors and that is regrettable. 

Prerequisites: 
Course Level: 
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.
1 Jul 2016

Szymczak Learning Objects from TUES workshop

Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College

The memebers of the Szymczak group created a collection of their learning objects from the TUES workshop at the University of Michigan in Summer 2016 to make them all easier to find.

Subdiscipline: 
Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
Course Level: 
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

Coordination Compound Nomenclature Worksheet

Submitted by Elizabeth Jensen, Aquinas College
Evaluation Methods: 

I do not grade the students’ answers because we discuss them in class. While the students are working through the items, I walk around the room and observe to make sure that students are applying the nomenclature rules correctly.  I offer hints or reminders as needed.

Typically, if I ask students to take the worksheet home and complete it before the next class, they are able to do this successfully. I will start the following class by calling on individual students to share their answers and then discuss as needed.

 

 

Evaluation Results: 

After completing this worksheet, most of the students were able to correctly answer similar questions from the textbook as homework.

One difficult part for my students has been the correct names of ligands. They rely on the lists of ligands in the textbook until those names become familiar.

Description: 

This is a worksheet for students to complete in class to practice nomenclature of coordination compounds. It may alternatively be assigned as homework after a lesson on nomenclature. Includes examples of Ewing-Bassett system as well as Stock system.

Learning Goals: 

Given a formula, students should be able to correctly apply the nomenclature rules in order to write names  for coordination complexes.

Given a name, students should be able to correctly apply the nomenclature rules in order to write the formula for the coordination complex.

Given a correct name (or formula),  students should be able to draw a representation of a coordination complex.

Subdiscipline: 
Equipment needs: 

None

Corequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 

I hand out this worksheet after an introductory lecture on nomenclature, in which I list the rules and give a few illustrative examples. I ask students to work in groups of three or four on the worksheet items, stopping them frequently to compare answers between groups and answer questions. If we do not complete all of the items during the class period, I will ask students to complete the rest on their own and then discuss their results at the beginning of the next class period.

Except for cis/trans, which most students have used previously in organic chemistry, I don't include isomers at this point. However, several of the items on the second page are left unspecific so that when students attempt to draw the structures, they often come up with different answers and this allows me to introduce the idea of isomers and let the students think about that a little.

Time Required: 
The first page takes about 30 minutes to complete in class as described. The second page typically goes a little faster.
26 Jun 2016

Organic Nomenclature Active Learning Worksheet

Submitted by Shirley Lin, United States Naval Academy
Evaluation Methods: 

This worksheet is intended to introduce and teach students the rules of organic compound nomenclature. I evaluate their performance on quiz and exam questions that give them the name and ask them to generate the structure or give them the structure and ask them to generate the name.

I'm interested in using common questions on exams that all the sections of organic chemistry take and see if the students who used this worksheet do better than the students who did not. If I do, I'll report back later.

 

Evaluation Results: 

None yet.

Description: 

This worksheet was designed to give students an introduction to organic chemistry nomenclature with a more active experience than listening to a faculty member present all the rules for how to name alkanes and cycloalkanes. The pedagogical approach is one introduced to me by Dr. Melonie Teichert; we refer to it as ICC (Inventing through Contrasting Cases). The theoretical framework involves the premise that students will learn and retain more of the learning if they're not simply told the "answer" but if they attempt to generate an answer for themselves based upon a data set.

Schwartz, D. L., Chase, C. C., Oppezzo, M. A., & Chin, D. B. (2011). Practicing versus inventing with contrasting cases: The effects of telling first on learning and transfer.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(4), 759-775.

In this case, the data set consists of the skeletal structures and names of the cycloalkanes (through 8 carbons), alkanes, and alkyls (through 12 carbons). From this data set, the students are asked a series of questions to draw their attention to the system used to name the compounds. At the end of the worksheet, they are asked to create a procedure for naming simple (non-branching) cycloalkanes, alkanes, and alkyls and then apply that procedure to a new example (transfer).

 

Learning Goals: 

After completing this worksheet, students will be able to...

1) Generate systematic names for non-branching cycloalkanes, alkanes, and alkyl substituents up to 12 carbons.

2) Explain the meaning of the prefix, root, and suffix of the name for a cycloalkane, alkane, and alkyl substituents.

 

Equipment needs: 

An answer key is provided (vide infra). The copy of the worksheet for the students deliberately does not include the structures for the tables. The instructor is encouraged to draw these on the board or on a blank copy of the worksheet so that the students can draw them into their own copies of the worksheet. This is beneficial as practice for this important skill. 

 

Students need pencils and the blank worksheet. 

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

I've used this worksheet the past two years that I've taught organic chemistry. Usually it is effective to organize the students into small groups (3-4), let them work on the sections of the worksheet for 5-10 minutes, and then bring the entire class together again to discuss the answers. I have also tried giving the students this worksheet and having them do it outside of class. In that case, it is difficult to know if the students really did it in the way that it was intended or if they just looked in the textbook for the answers.

If the instructor wishes, molecular model kits can be used to give a 3-dimensional experience with the molecules.

The worksheet introduces cycloalkanes before alkanes. The majority of organic chemistry textbooks discuss alkanes before cycloalkanes. The order in the worksheet was used so that students could relate the names of cycloalkanes to the names of the corresponding polygons in order to establish the correlation between the parts of the names (pent-, hex-, etc.).

Time Required: 
20 minutes
10 Jun 2016

George Stanley Organometallics

Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College

This is an LO for the collection of organometallics LOs by George Stanley. Adam Johnson is curating the material that was written by George.

For many years, George hosted his organometallics lecture notes, powerpoint slides, and handouts, on his personal website at LSU. He always wanted that material available to the public. Recently, they moved to a CMS and that material is no longer available. Adam is working with George to get the 2016-2017 version of his materials up on VIPEr for everyone to use.

The lecture notes are freely available to all.

Subdiscipline: 
Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
Course Level: 
14 May 2016

soapmaking lecture/demo

Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College
Description: 

This is a short presentation that outlines the major chemical reactions of soapmaking. Included are instructions for making two soaps, one from canola oil, the other from coconut oil. These two soaps have very different hardnesses, which can be explained by examining the structures of the oils. If you have never made soap before, it isn't that difficult, but it does use concentrated NaOH so is very caustic before the reaction is done. The linked websited have good instructions for soapmaking as well.

The powerpoint is annotated with notes and suggestions. There is a student handout too.

Questions are provided that students could do as homework. The answers are included as faculty only files.

Corequisites: 
Course Level: 
Prerequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

1.    Identify the major functional groups found in soap and used in soapmaking
2.    Explain how soap works at the molecular level
3.    Draw balanced chemical reactions for the soapmaking process
4.    Calculate various metrics for soap and relate them to the soap’s properties
5.    Compare different ways of calculating the molecular weight of soap and polymers
 

Related activities: 
Implementation Notes: 

This was used as the first day in a two-day module in first-year chemistry. The second day used in-class small group work to calculate some of the metrics in soap and further examine the chemistry of soap. For 2016, I am adding a third day to finish up calculations and have groups report back on their findings.

Time Required: 
one class period (two if doing the followup activity)
Evaluation
Evaluation Methods: 

There was no evaluation on the lecture/demo. The exercises were graded according to the provided key. The answer key here is the same as the first answer key in the linked in-class activity.

Evaluation Results: 

Students were generally able to do the calculations without too much trouble, once they realized it was just a limiting reagent calculation. I got several actual "cartoons" for the 2nd part, and I awarded bonus points for students who were creative and drew me a 1 or 4 panel comic strip.

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