Teaching Guided-Inquiry Organic Chemistry Laboratories

University of Minnesota
City, State: 
Twin Cities, MN
Jane E. Wissinger (University of Minnesota) and Tammy Davidson (University of Florida)
05 Jun 2016 - 10 Jun 2016



Sunday evening: Reception
Monday-Thursday: Full days
Friday a.m.: Half day, and departure

The workshop materials and activities will address how incorporation of   inquiry-driven experiments into the laboratory curriculum support and enhance effective learning for both undergraduate students and graduate-student TAs.  In contrast to traditional pre-lab lecturing to the students and verification experiments, the guided-inquiry approach and projects emulate more closely scientific methods and encourage collaboration and discussion of theories and results in an active-learning environment.


Sunday evening: Reception

Monday:  Introduction to Inquiry-Driven Experiments. Participants will gain hands-on experience with a guided-inquiry laboratory experiment from a student viewpoint.   Experiment 1:  Pre-laboratory discussions (Engaging the students through peer-learning) and performing an experiment with unknown outcome.   Opening seminar:  The History and Case for Guided-Inquiry Teaching

Tuesday:  Group Evaluation/discussion of Results and Experiment Projects.  Skills for facilitating group discussions and participation.  Setting expectations.   Experiment 2:  Laboratory Projects:  Participants will perform an experiment with multiple substrates and outcomes.  – A modern qualitative organic analysis experiment.

Wednesday:  Recasting Your Favorite Experiments and Success Stories. Participants will have the opportunity to submit experiments prior to the workshop to be used in demonstrating how a traditional cookbook experiment can be modified to be guided- or project- based.  Seminar:  Models of Guided-Inquiry incorporation by former workshop participant(s).

Thursday:  Project Results Discussions and Peer-Institution Sharing.  Ideas for format of student sharing of results and considering learning outcomes.  Small group discussions of specific challenges facing community colleges, 4-yr, and research universities in curricula change, funding, instrumentation and TA training.  

Friday:  Developing an Action Plan.  Participants will develop and share a plan for incorporation of guided-inquiry pedagogy.  Choice topics for participants.


photo credit: Patrick O'Leary


>>>> click HERE to apply <<<<