April 12, 2019 Panel: FFGSI Updates and Reports

April 12, 2019
Panel: FFGSI Updates and Reports
Host: Janelle Kirsch

On April 12, 2019, the 2018-2019 FFGSI Update event took place with 30 graduate students in attendance.

Kristina Lenn gave an update about Compute-to-Learn, an honors studio class for Chem 230 & 260. Beginning in 2008, the course has been running continuously since then and since the Fall 2015, there have been 86 students enrolled and 26 published demos as a result of the students’ projects. Voluntary interviews after the completion of the course suggest that the themes of programming, peer-review, and independent learning from the course were motivational and/or beneficial for the students.

Jeff Spencer gave a presentation about Chem 125-500, Arctic Snow Research in the General Chemistry Laboratory. During the third iteration of the course, the facilitators worked on streamlining some of the struggles reported in previous iterations, including grading, supporting the development of a research question, and smoothing out labs that were difficult to implement.  With this iteration, they noticed that students had trouble contextualizing the data from Northern Alaska and sifting through large quantities of data from the previous years’ cohorts.

Daniel Steyer’s FFGSI project studied 1H NMR in Chem 216 labs. During this project, new leads into the approaches and fundamental perception of 1H-NMR instruction held by graduate student instructors and novice professional instructors were explored. Preliminarily, they have seen that the professional instructors break spectral analysis down further and implement more advanced approaches for assessing student growth. Further studies will help deepen the understanding of fundamental 1H-NMR education and allow for the creation of better approaches for training new instructors.