This session will describe a semester-long course-based research experience in an Organic Chemistry II lab section at Smith College. Students in the section used a literature protocol to isolate bioactive natural products neurolenin B and D. These molecules are potential treatments for the neglected tropical disease lymphatic filariasis. Students then used their Organic I knowledge to propose chemical transformations of the neurolenins to produce previously unknown analogs that might have enhanced bioactivity. They found literature precedent for their reactions, presented their proposal to the class, and ran the proposed reactions in the lab. The semester ended with a group poster session and written scientific paper to highlight student results. Students' performances were assessed based on comparison to the six other traditional lab sections and demonstrated higher than average grades on exams and overall course grades. Students also reported higher levels of content understanding and motivation, among other measures, using formal and informal survey instruments. Complete assessment details from CURE survey questions comparing the experimental and traditional lab sections will be presented.
Pedagogy/Teaching & Learning
Literature-based problems expose students to current, real world applications of chemistry. These types of problems are often confined to graduate and advanced undergraduate courses. This session will focus on incoporation of literature-based problems in Organic I and II courses on quizzes and exams. Students are given at least one week to study and discuss portions of a paper outside of class in small groups. Then students are asked to answer quiz and exam questions based on the paper. Examples of problems from Organic I and II along with problem development suggestions will be highlighted. Students show high levels of engagement with and interest in the primary chemical literature when faced with these types of assessments.
For slides from the presentations, please see http://prezi.com/paco-failxlk/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0...
The second semester of a GOB course (organic and biochemistry content) that had been taught in the traditional format for nine semesters was ‘ﬂipped’ for the last two semesters. Most students in the course are from demographic groups with low retention rates at the institution. With all lectures moved to videos that students watch before coming to class, class time was used to assess readiness for problemsolving and supervised group problem-solving work. Several principles from the book, “Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning,” were also incorporated into the class. The effectiveness of the course changes was evaluated by comparing scores on ACS ﬁnal exams, numbers of students who received grades of WFD, and student survey responses. The student responses gave input on time spent outside of class, their preference for the ﬂipped vs. the traditional format, the frequency of re-watching lecture videos, and whether they believed this course would help them do better in other courses. Observations from the ﬁrst year of the ﬂipped class were used to make additional changes in the second year.
Working without a net: one man’s attempt to implement active learning methods in organic chemistry
This talk will be an account of things I’ve tried, and how I implemented them, both before and after attending the cCWCS workshop on Active Learning in Organic Chemistry. This will be as close as possible to an unvarnished look at success and failure, a report on work in progress. Collaboration by the listeners will be encouraged.