P590: Using interactive simulations to introduce molecular spectroscopy to upper-level inorganic students

Author: Alycia Palmer, The Ohio State University, USA

Co-Author: Ted Clark and Rebecca Ricciardo, The Ohio State University, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 3:40 PM4:00 PM

Room: MAK B1100

Related Symposium: S44

Students in upper-level labs frequently have access to research-quality instrumentation, smaller class sizes, and work with better-trained Teaching Assistants, yet the laboratory instruction is often expository rather than exploratory. One reason for this is that few existing interactive activities are tailored for an advanced audience. In this presentation we describe the use of a computer simulation in an upper-level inorganic course to introduce the topic of molecular spectroscopy. The PhET simulation “Molecules and Light” allows students to visualize vibrations, rotations, and excitations for a variety of molecule and wavelength combinations. In an accompanying activity students record their observations and seek to rationalize which properties of a molecule lead to a particular response. Here, we will share instructor observations of the students working through the activity as well as an evaluation of the students’ performance based on their ability to determine the activity of a molecule not in the simulation.

P506: Utilizing an in-class game to teach excited state processes in the inorganic classroom

Author: Alycia Palmer, The Ohio State University, USA

Co-Author: Rebecca Ricciardo, The Ohio State University, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 9:55 AM10:15 AM

Room: MAK A1117

Related Symposium: S46

In advanced inorganic chemistry, energy well diagrams are used to explain topics ranging from molecular spectroscopy to electron transfer theory, but the abstract representation of electronic states is often difficult for students to understand. In an effort to focus on the larger picture of excited state processes, an in-class game was developed. A learning objective for the game was to have students be able to identify the type of transition for each relaxation process and show how the transition is represented on a Jablonski diagram. The students’ understanding was evaluated based on their responses to a set of questions administered both at the beginning and end of the class. In this presentation, the results of the class activity are summarized, including the students’ feedback and the instructors’ observations.