The goal of this project is to develop, implement and evaluate problem-based (PB) laboratory experiments linked to process-oriented guided-inquiry learning (POGIL) activities for student learning of Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy in analytical and physical chemistry. The POGIL activities focus on student understanding of key IR spectroscopic concepts. The PB laboratory experiments provide students with hands-on opportunities to explore fundamental techniques and measurements, including attenuated total reflectance (ATR) spectroscopy, as well as investigate advanced topics such as the characterization of surfaces. The FTIR with ATR accessory acquired through this grant is available for Agnes Scott College's undergraduate research program.
The intellectual merit of this project stems from the development and evaluation of new materials that integrate active-learning in-class activities and problem-based laboratories. Self-contained modules are designed to be used in any upper-level undergraduate course utilizing active learning methods to study FTIR spectroscopy. All activities and laboratory experiments are peer reviewed and classroom tested, which adds to the strength of the evaluation plan.
The broader impact includes the development of novel resources for upper-level undergraduate courses for any practitioner wishing to use active learning methods to study FTIR spectroscopy and/or fundamental principles illustrated by FTIR spectroscopy. Materials are disseminated on the POGIL website, a national repository for curricular materials employing this pedagogy, and through publications and workshops.