328 Computer-Based PLTL Workshops in General Chemistry

Thursday, November 5, 2009: 2:00 PM
Charolais (Camino Real Hotel)
Morton Z. Hoffman , Department of Chemistry, Boston University, Boston, MA
Alan D. Crosby , Department of Chemistry, Boston University, Boston, MA
Computer-based materials have been developed for the peer-led team learning (PLTL) workshops of our honors-level general chemistry course that can also be used in conjunction with POGIL or other guided-inquiry pedagogy. With detailed guidance from the instructor-generated written materials and from the workshop leaders, the students start with a blank Excel® spreadsheet, and program their laptop computers for the following exercises: creation of the logarithm table, acid-base titrations, simultaneous complex ion equilibria, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, simulation of the operation of a galvanic cell, complex reaction mechanisms, wave interference. In addition, the students experience workshops that utilize programs developed to explore quantum concepts and to visualize thorny issues such as electronic wave functions, atomic orbitals, molecular orbitals, hybridization, bonding, and the origin of spectra. Examples of the workshop exercises will be presented and discussed.