P962: Designing an authentic and interactive tutorial on quantum chemistry for undergraduate researchers: An apprenticeship model

Author: Heidi Phillips, University of Michigan, USA


Date: 8/7/14

Time: 10:15 AM10:35 AM

Room: LMH 176

Related Symposium: S55

This presentation will describe an interactive tutorial aimed at teaching undergraduate research students how to use computational chemistry software through authentic research activities. Based on an apprenticeship model (Lave &Wenger, 1991), the tutorial combines multiple principles for designing successful science learning environments including an emphasis on key concepts and collaboration (Kracjik, Slotta, McNeill, &Reiser, 2008). The interactive tutorial consists of instructional lectures, interactive and follow-up exercises with associated input files, and documentation to guide the instructor. The exercises emphasize a combination of quantum chemistry concepts and technical skills, requiring students to not only create and modify files in challenging ways, but to analyze the results of their calculations within the context of quantum chemistry. While the main focus is for undergraduate students planning to engage in computational chemistry research, the tutorial package could also be modified for inclusion in a physical chemistry course. The tutorial and related artifacts were designed within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Studio at the University of Michigan, which provides a trans-disciplinary workshop environment for improving STEM-related educational materials. Lave, J., &Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York, NY US: Cambridge University Press. Krajcik, J. S., Slotta, J. D., McNeill, K. L., &Reiser, B. J. (2008). Designing learning environments to support students’ integrated understanding. In Y. Kali, M. Linn, &J. Roseman (Eds.), Designing coherent science education (pp. 39-64). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.