Vertical Integration of Raman Spectroscopy into the Chemistry

The faculty in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at Florida
Atlantic University are vertically integrating Raman spectroscopy
experiments and experiences into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum.
The project is addressing key, course-specific, student learning outcomes
as well as fundamental, anchoring concepts ('big ideas'). The project is
accomplishing this by acquiring a sophisticated Raman spectrometer and
is using this instrument to introduce and reinforce increasingly more
complex chemistry concepts as a student progresses through the course
sequence. This project is part of a restructured chemistry curriculum that
includes a 'spectroscopy-to-learn' approach. Raman spectroscopy is aiding
students' deep learning of molecular structure, quantitative analysis, the
elucidation of reaction mechanisms, and how spectroscopy aids research.

The student body of the FAU campus ensures a diverse population is
experiencing a hands-on encounter with state-of-the-art instrumentation.
The investigators are disseminating their work through presentations and a
dedicated web site. In addition, an illustrated handbook featuring the novel
undergraduate Raman experiences and experiments is being prepared for
publication. An instructor's manual that contains both pre- and post-
measures of learning outcomes is also being developed.
NSF Project
The project is demonstrating and establishing the methods by which a
sophisticated spectroscopic instrument can be utilized throughout the
entire chemistry curriculum to promote understanding of anchoring
concepts at all levels. Students are engaging with increasingly more
advanced Raman instrument-based experiments as they progress
through the chemistry curriculum enabling them to:

(1) connect the theory taught in lectures with authentic research and
industry practice
(2) become more active and responsible participants in their own learning
(3) reinforce and extend their understanding of concepts previously

Independent consultants are guiding the evaluation of the effectiveness of
this effort aimed at the over-arching ideas of improving student
understanding of chemical principles and their attitudes towards learning.
Project Goals
Click here to view NSF abstract!
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Copyright 2103. Florida Atlantic Unviersity
Last Modified 01/16/2015
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry