Professional skills development

20 Jun 2009
Description: 

All VIPEr learning objects are supposed to include clear student learning goals and a suggested way to assess the learning. This "five slides about" provides a brief introduction to the "Understanding by Design" or "backward design" approach to curriculum development and will help you develop your VIPEr learning object.

Prerequisites: 
Course Level: 
Corequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

Faculty will

  • understand the "backward design" concept
  • learn to write learning outcomes and assessments using the verbs ("activities") and "products" provided
  • learn how a rubric can be used to discriminate students' levels of achievement
Implementation Notes: 

These slides are a quick and dirty summary of a longer hands-on faculty development workshop I do. They provide an introduction to the Understanding by Design process, help in writing learning goals, suggestions for developing assessments of student learning, and helpful hints for preparing a VIPEr learning object.

Time Required: 
15 minutes to read the slides; a lifetime to practice the skill :)
Evaluation
Evaluation Methods: 

I hope that faculty will use these slides to aid their writing of learning goals and assessments for the VIPEr site.

3 Mar 2017

In-class peer review

Submitted by S. Chantal E. Stieber, Cal Poly Pomona
Evaluation Methods: 

Student participation was evaluated during the in-class portion based on the questions students asked. 

The formal peer review homework was evaluated based on completion, level of thought and thoroughness.

Evaluation Results: 

Overall, students were very interested in this topic and had not formally learned about the process before. There was a very lively discussion and a lot of questions were asked. All students received full credit for participation. 

Similarly, once students received their classmate's paper for peer review, they took the process very seriously and carefully went through the paper and answered the worksheet questions. 

I was very impressed by the high quality of the formal peer reviews that were turned in as homework. Students clearly spent a lot of time to carefully think about the paper and craft a reasonable response. Most students received full-credit. 

Description: 

This activity includes questions for students to answer to help guide them through the process of peer review. It was designed to assist students in writing peer reviews for research reports written by their classmates, but could be applied to literature articles as well.

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

A student will be able to:

-Explain how the peer-review process works

-Critically read through a research article

-Carefully review a research article

-Write a professional peer review

Implementation Notes: 

An overview of peer review was given with three powerpoint slides. Students then worked through a modified Q&A of the peer review module "Peer Review - How does it work?" posted by Michael Norris on VIPEr. This provided students with an example of real reviews, along with the resulting article revisions. 

The current worksheet was then passed out to students along with a research report written by one of their classmates (I assigned these and removed names). In class, students answered the questions on the worksheet and were able to ask questions of the editor (the instructor in this case). Following the in-class peer review, students had to write a formal peer review, which was turned in as homework. 

The peer review was a final component of a research report that students had been working on throughout the course. The final report was turned in after students had received the review comments back from their peers. The grade of the final report took into consideration whether or not students had made modifications based on comments by their peer reviewer.

 
Time Required: 
60 min
2 Mar 2017

Experimenting with Danger- CSB safety Video

Submitted by Sheila Smith, University of Michigan- Dearborn
Description: 

This 2011 video by the Chemical Safety Board is a very serious and moving motivation for adopting safe practices in the chemical laboratory.  It focuses on two recent and very real safety issues in University labs (UCLA, 2008 and TTU, 2010 ), both of which have shaken the educational research community to result in positive change. 

I have shared a "SafeShare" link so that you will not have to listen to ads, and if you choose to play the link in your classroom, you will not see all the Youtube ads on the screen.  

Learning Goals: 

Students will gain a real sense of the importance of chemical safety in the laboratory that is related to real people who have suffered real losses.  

Corequisites: 
Prerequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 

I will be using this video as part of my standard safety training during intake of new undergraduate researchers in my research lab and in the first week of Advanced lab.

I will also be working to get our general chemistry coordinator to adopt some or all of it as part of the lab safety training for freshmen.

Time Required: 
24 minutes
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.

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, Bethany Lutheran College
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.

Prerequisites: 
Corequisites: 
Course Level: 
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.
29 Jun 2016

Fischer-Schrock Personality profile

Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College
Evaluation Methods: 

The groups of workshop participants worked together to assign their papers. After lunch, the groups reported back to the whole workshop.

Evaluation Results: 

All four papers were correctly assigned according to the key, although we decided that some of the answers on the key could be different. This is highlighted in the key.

Description: 

This is a powerpoint presentation that was developed for and used at the 2016 VIPEr workshop on Organometallic chemistry at the University of Michigan. Organometallic chemistry is a broad field, and we have divided ourselves into different classes based on what we study. For example, the reactivity of the third row metals is often quite different from that of the fourth/fifth rows. Early (high oxidation state with anionic ligands typically) and Late (low oxidation state with neutral ligands typically) metal complexes have different properties and d electron counts.

Being able to classify a paper or chemist according to this "personality profile," similar to a Myers-Briggs type of profile, would allow a student to understand, in a broad sense, the type of chemistry that is being reported.

Thanks to Sheila Smith, UM Dearborn, for encouraging me to turn this into an LO.

Learning Goals: 

A student will be able to classify an organometallic paper across four dimensions:

Early/Late metal

Organo- or -Metallic chemistry

Third/Fourth(Fifth) row metal

ligands are X-type or L-type

students will gain an appreciation for the breadth of the field

Equipment needs: 

none.

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

This activity was done over lunch during the Organometallics workshop on June 27, 2016. The introductory slides were presented and discussed and during lunch, the workshop participants classified the four workshop papers according to their personalities. For classroom use, you could (and probably should) obviously select different papers.

Time Required: 
15-30 minutes
27 Jun 2016
Evaluation Methods: 

The practical exam (uploaded) is used as a metric to determine how well students are capable of answering a science question they haven't seen before on their own.  In other words, the practical exam tests them on their understanding of the material, and the scientific method itself.  If you'd like to measure this against students who have performed the experiment, but did not participate in a discussion session following the experiment, the practical exam scores should give you a measure for how students compare.  The questions asked on the practical exam are designed to be as objective as possible to eliminate variation in grading between sections.

Evaluation Results: 

TBA.

Description: 

This learning object is aimed at getting students to think critically about the data they collect in lab as they collect the data similar to how chemists typically conduct research.  They will be given a pre-lab video and a procedure prior to lab, conduct the experiment, and then upload their data to an Excel spreadsheet.  Students will then stay in their group to discuss the questions given to them on the worksheet in class with the instructor, and are allowed to continue working on them as a group up until the due date.

Class data from the original experiment will be uploaded to a public Excel spreadsheet that students will have access to in lab and at home, where the averages and standard deviation will be automatically calculated for them.  Students will be responsible for all other statistical analysis.  TVs, computers, or projectors are required in the lab in order to project data to the students.  Directly after the experiment, students will enter a discussion section with a worksheet to work on as a group that relates the collected data back to the original lecture on the topic covered in the experiment.

Course Level: 
Prerequisites: 
Learning Goals: 

The purpose of this Learning Object is to teach students not only a difficult concept such as "what is electrochemical potential", but also to teach students how to think about a science question, write a hypothesis, write a procedure to answer said hypothesis, analyze the data, discuss the results as a group, and make a conclusion about their original hypothesis.  Although this learning object is written for a general chemistry electrochemistry experiment, it can be easily modified to fit any laboratory experiment in any level of college chemistry (including organic chemistry, biochemistry, etc.  The end of the semester for a course that incorporates this template involves a practical exam.  In this exam, students are given a science question related to one of the experiments they conducted during the semester such that they use the same techniques used in the original experiment, but answers a far different question.  With their laboratory notebooks and previous procedure available to them during the exam, the instructor will be required to not assist the students (outside of safety and waste disposal concerns) in any way regarding the exam.

Corequisites: 
Equipment needs: 
  • TV, computer or projector to project data for students to look at class data.
  • Proper aqueous solutions and electrodes needed for the experiment outlined in the experimental procedure.
  • If desired, a potentiostat.  However, students should be able to design simple galvanic cells to answer the questions.
  • Solutions should be prepared before the laboratory experiment and practical exams are administered.  However, it is up to your discretion whether you want your students to also make the solutions themselves.
Implementation Notes: 
  • Lab should take ~2-2.5 hours
  • Discussion should be ~1 hr
  • DIfferent practical exams for different days in which the lab is being taught, in order to prevent students from sharing what the lab is about
  • Students should know what experiment the practical exam will be based on, but should not know the exact question being asked until the day of the exam.
  • Worksheets should be due 1 week after the lab, even though students discuss the questions that day.  This gives them time to complete the assignment.
  • Questions on discussion worksheet should be difficult, given that they have the instructor and students within their group to talk to for help.
  • For the practical exam, the solutions should be prepared beforehand to focus their efforts on answering the questions rather than making solutions and preparing to answer the questions. However, it is up your discretion.
Time Required: 
~3-4 hrs
27 Jun 2016

Reaction Report

Submitted by Roxy Swails, Lafayette College
Evaluation Methods: 

Both the rough draft and final oral and written report were evaluated using the included rubrics.  These reports were included into a mid-term and final exam grade for each laboratory student.

Evaluation Results: 

The students did well on both reports.  The most common issue on the rough draft was a lack of organization and practice and a failure to describe the NMR and IR data in an effective and thorough manner.

Description: 

Students are asked to choose a type of reaction from a set list (included), determine appropriate starting materials and the resulting product and present the reaction as though they accomplished it in the laboratory setting (5 min oral presentation with a 1 page paper).  I asked the students to perform both a rough draft presentation (to me) and final draft presentation (to all students in laboratory).

This was designed for an organic laboratory; however, it could be modified for an organometallic course using reactions such as Heck/Suzuki/etc. or formation of organometallic compounds although the spectra may be more difficult to find.

Learning Goals: 

Students will be able to:

Describe NMR and IR spectra in an effective and clear manner.

Create a presentation with a logical, linear flow.

Present a chemical reaction

Corequisites: 
Equipment needs: 

Overhead projector

Laser pointer

Prerequisites: 
Implementation Notes: 

I implemented this report in my second semester organic chemistry laboratory. I used it as part of the mid-term and final exam grades.  Each student accomplished this assignment on an individual basis. Their oral rough draft was presented only to me with immediate feedback regarding how to improve the presentation. The final draft was presented to the entire laboratory.  I evaluated each student according to the rubrics included.  All students were required to evaluate the final presentations; however, these evaluations did not affect the presenters grade but were counted toward the evaluators participation score.  Evaluation sheets are also included.  I observed a variety of thoughtfulness on the part of the evaluators.

I had 14 students in the lab and reserved 15 minute blocks for each student's rough draft.  This was somewhat time consuming on my part.  I was able to complete the rough drafts on a friday afternoon.

Time Required: 
15 min for rough draft and 7 min for final draft per presenter

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