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Five Great Tools for Teaching Spectroscopy

  • Monday, April 20, 2015

If you teach spectroscopy, you know that it can sometimes be challenging to get good spectra for assignments and in-class activities. Here are five resources which can be very helpful for teaching spec at both lower- and upper levels:

The Tablet versus Animated Powerpoint, Round 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my shift toward using animated Powerpoint for examples of solved problems, rather than hand-writing solutions on the fly. Since stoichiometry problems always have the same flow - write a conversion factor, cancel the units, repeat - I've found that I can pretty easily copy-and-paste animation sequences and then adjust the numbers and units. It's more organized, lends itself to neater video production, and is easier to read in class.

The Tablet versus Animated Powerpoint

After using a tablet PC for nearly a decade, I've started shifting my approach. Since I began using the tablet, I have posted problems in the skeletal notes, then worked them in-class with my tablet pen. But recently I've been moving toward animated sequences which mimic solving the problem with a pen. An example adapted from yesterday's class is shown below:

Flipping NMR

We introduce nuclear magnetic resonance topics in the second semester of organic chemistry lab. During the first two weeks of lab, we spend time lecturing on proton and carbon NMR theory and spectral interpretation with some built-in time for students to work on practice problems, learn NMR processing software (ACD/Labs NMR Processor), and become familiar with our NMR instrument. In the past, I lectured for a little over an hour using PowerPoint, then had students work on several problem sets. This approach was less than ideal.