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Primary Course Objectives

Chemistry 125 is a course designed around student interdependence and inter-group collaboration. Students perform chemistry experiments in a group learning environment.

The Carnegie Report on Undergraduate Education has called for inquiry learning to become the new standard at research universities. Chemistry 125 is such an inquiry and research course which has several primary objectives:

Encourage scientific thinking

This course facilitates development of scientific thinking, and emphasizes qualitative reasoning processes such as:

  • How to infer relationships among data
  • Experiment design
  • Making predictions about untested samples
  • Relationships between established information and data
  • Links between the macroscopic and the microscopic
  • Applying conclusions to relevant problems

    Experience how chemical principles are derived from experimental results

    Teams are assigned to conduct experiments involving varied reagents and/or conditions. The results of these experiments then are used to build a class data bank which is accessible by all students in a class. The data exhibits multiple instances of a given trend and students have the benefit of learning from the experiments performed by other teams.

    Engage students in the processes of scientific method and reasoning

    Students are required to record hypothesis and predict and compare observational outcomes, as well as take some responsibility for experimental detail and design. Students are taught how to access resources such as the CRC Handbook, data tables, and reference samples to check scientific reasoning. Commercial graphing and spreadsheet software will be used for data analysis. Students will also be required to write an abstract summarizing findings and orally present results in a discussion.

    Promote critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills via team work

    A 1988 survey conducted by the American Society for Training and Development and the U.S. Department of Labor supports the need for group learning. The study of major businesses and industrial firms concluded that if students are to reach the workplace well equipped to cope with the real world, they must have the opportunity to learn:
    These are the skills that the course seeks to teach its students in the setting of a chemistry laboratory.

    Draw parallels between chemistry and other aspects of life

    Skills and methods used by chemists are applicable to other facets of life, and can help solve practical problems. The problem-solving methods that students will learn in this course can be easily applied to any discipline requiring data analysis.

    Provide students with a solid background for Chemistry 210/211

    After successfully completing this course, a student will have the necessary background in the Periodic Table, periodic trends in structure and reactivity, and structure-reactivity relationships to elect Chemistry 210 or 211.

    Enjoy the course

    This page was created by James Haskins.

    Chemistry Logo was created by Chemistry Department, College of LS&A, University of Michigan
    930 N. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055

    Last Updated on 3/16/2011
    By Russell Bornschein