P975: Avoid the fire hose: Give up a block diagram (or two) to improve student learning and engagement

Author: Kathryn D. Kloepper, Mercer University, USA


Date: 8/7/14

Time: 10:15 AM10:35 AM

Room: MAN 107

Related Symposium: S60

Passing along all the chemistry we wish we had known prior to graduate school to our current undergraduates is tempting; however, trying to cover too much material in Quantitative Analysis and Instrumental Analysis can result in disengaged and overwhelmed students. We know that developing students as scientific writers, communicators, and thinkers is important, yet these goals often are dropped in order to address more content in class. How does one strike a balance between appropriately covering course content and promoting critical thinking? Specific teaching strategies that promote higher-order learning through active participation have been developed for the analytical sequence at Mercer University. Some of these activities include guided class discussions, process oriented guided inquiry learning (ANA-POGIL), and group presentations. Incorporation of these strategies has resulted in increased student engagement, improved class camaraderie, and deeper understanding of course material. Suggestions for applying these teaching methods to larger classes will be presented.

P330: Bringing the Bard into instrumental analysis

Author: Kathryn D. Kloepper, Mercer University, USA


Date: 8/4/14

Time: 3:40 PM4:00 PM

Room: MAK B1112

Related Symposium: S27

Scenes from the works of William Shakespeare have been incorporated into Instrumental Analysis lecture to promote higher-order thinking. Students were given excerpts from different plays and then watched a corresponding video clip from a stage production or movie adaptation. These scenes were used as inspiration for more detailed discussions of separation or analysis. For example, the witches’ brew in Macbeth provides rich source material for a discussion about how best to analyze different biological samples. Shakespearean material also was utilized in group projects. This out-of-class work required students to make significant use of primary scientific literature to address open-ended research questions inspired by the plays. Class performance and learning outcomes will be discussed, and results from student surveys will be shown. Suggestions for improving student buy-in will be made. Recommendations for incorporating Shakespeare into other chemistry courses and larger lectures will be provided.