Monthly Archives: October 2008

Molecular Visualization in Stereochemistry

Last weekend I attended a meeting of the Midwest Association of Chemistry Teaching in Liberal Arts Colleges (MACTLAC) that had a “Visualizing Chemistry” theme. This past week my students did the stereochemistry molecular modeling activity during the laboratory period. In my experience, this activity can be a powerful compliment to the lecture material, especially if […]

Evaluating Organic Chemistry Labs: Formal Lab Report

The advantage of assigning and grading formal lab reports is that they most closely resemble the formal scientific articles which we are trying to education our students to read and write. Formal lab reports emphasize writing skills necessary to communicate scientific content to other scientists and practitioners. The primary problem that I have had with […]

Evaluating Organic Chemistry Labs – What are we trying to do?

I have just finished grading a pile of lab reports while reflecting on the question: “How do scientists learn to read and write scientific articles?” Whether or not my students ever author a scientific paper, their lives and careers will most likely rely on data and ideas that were originally presented in the form of […]

Evaluating Organic Chemistry Labs – Prelab Preparation

There are two extremes of laboratory evaluations (grading): 1) A fill-in-the blanks worksheet that is filled out during the laboratory session and handed in at the end of lab. 2) A formal “journal style” lab report and/or a formal presentation of experimental results. In my view, Sophomore Organic Chemistry offers a transition from one to […]