P505: MO’s in sophomore inorganic inspired by a VIPEr learning object

Author: Chip Nataro, Lafayette College, USA


Date: 8/5/14

Time: 9:35 AM9:55 AM

Room: MAK A1117

Related Symposium: S46

In my sophomore inorganic course, coverage of molecular orbital (MO) diagrams ended with heteronuclear diatomic molecules. To go any further, students would need group theory, a topic that is not covered until the senior inorganic course. While this seemed to be an adequate compromise, it impacted other parts of the course. In particular, coverage of Lewis acid-base was not as rigorous as it could have been and there was no significant discussion of hypervalency. Two learning objects (Generating LGOs (SALCs) and Understanding Hypervalency Activity) as well as some preliminary data from the ACS exam institute significantly impacted my thoughts on this matter. This year I followed my normal discussion of MO’s of heteronuclear diatomic molecules with a brief introduction to group theory. Using the two learning objects as guides, students were then introduced to generating MO diagrams using LGOs. A computational laboratory based on this material was also developed. Approximately 33% of the students in the class take the laboratory which allows for assessment of the impact of this lab on their understanding. The materials that have been developed are available as complementary learning objects on VIPEr. This talk will follow the process of developing a learning object from inspiration to implementation. Student outcomes will be discussed.