P488: Introducing powder X-ray diffraction and diffuse-reflectance visible-light spectrometers to the general chemistry audience

Author: Rebecca A. Ricciardo, The Ohio State University, USA

Co-Author: T. M. Clark and P. M. Woodward, The Ohio State University, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 9:55 AM10:15 AM

Room: MAK A1161

Related Symposium: S43

An important feature of General Chemistry labs at The Ohio State University is the inclusion of an in-class research experience. Projects focusing on solid-state inorganic pigments are especially popular, with more then 1,000 students/year participating and using instrumentation not commonly found in large enrollment introductory courses. The inclusion of powder X-ray diffractometers and diffuse-reflectance visible-light spectrometers have made the research projects more meaningful and pedagogically useful. This talk will highlight the use of such instrumentation in General Chemistry and consider the transfer of best-practices from these labs to other laboratory experiments that may or may not include a research component. Such a discussion is valuable for others considering the inclusion of advanced instrumentation in introductory courses.

P178: Increasing student decision-making in an in-class research experience

Author: Rebecca A. Ricciardo, The Ohio State University, USA

Co-Author: T. M. Clark, P. M. Woodward, The Ohio State University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 11:30 AM11:50 AM

Room: MAK B1100

Related Symposium: S19

The inclusion of in-class research experiences in General Chemistry poses challenges because these students will usually lack the prerequisite knowledge required for a research project that aims to produce new chemical knowledge. It is possible to provide a direct-instruction framework that increases the chances the student projects will produce meaningful findings, but such a framework limits student decision-making and has many of the same shortcomings as a traditional expository laboratory experiment. In this presentation the use of in-class research experiences involving inorganic pigment synthesis and characterization will be discussed as implemented on a large scale (~1000 students/semester). Strategies to promote student decision-making in the project will be discussed and compared with practices in prior versions of the lab. The pedagogical merits of the new approach will be considered, along with how it affects the quality of the student research projects.