The question-driven laboratory exercise: A new pedagogy applied to a green modification of grignard reagent formation and reaction

Jennifer M. Teixeira, Jessie Nedrow Byers, Marilu G. Perez, R. W. Holman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Experimental exercises within second-year-level organic laboratory manuals typically involve a statement of a principle that is then validated by student generation of data in a single experiment. These experiments are structured in the exact opposite order of the scientific method, in which data interpretation, typically from multiple related experiments, leads to the development of a principle. The question-driven laboratory exercise (QDLE) better mimics a research investigative process in that data from multiple experiments provided to students are coupled with student-generated data with the goal being the development of a principle. To facilitate students' ability to tether together interpretations from multiple experiments, the entire exercise is driven by guiding questions. This general approach is applicable to a broad array of potential laboratory exercises. In this example, students are guided to develop a more environmentally friendly solvent system for Grignard formation and reaction, test the new system via a laboratory experiment, and then discern between two competing proposed mechanisms for describing Grignard reagent formation in the modified media. To accomplish this goal, the students will be guided to interpret and synthesize data (some provided, some student generated) from 13C NMR, GC-MS, and computational investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-716
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume87
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 27 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Computational chemistry
  • Green chemistry
  • Grignard reagents
  • Laboratory instruction
  • Mechanisms of reactions
  • Organic chemistry
  • Second-year undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education

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