JCE 92.12—December 2015 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education December 2015

JCE 92.12—December 2015 Issue Highlights

Best Practices in Chemistry Education

The December 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education, available online to subscribers, features articles on: learning in the laboratory; understanding structure–property relationships; using ACS exams data; inquiry- and problem-based learning; foundation-level instruction; teaching physical chemistry; examining protein structure; interdisciplinary laboratory experiments; from the archives: chemistry and toys.


In Thinking about Champions, Norbert J. Pienta highlights content from Volume 92 (2015) of the Journal of Chemical Education and acknowledges contributors to the Journal.

Cover: Learning in the Laboratory

Students in a large lecture course earned a digital pipetting badge after creating individual videos in which they successfully demonstrated how to use a 10 mL pipet to dispense liquid. The objective of this digital badging approach is to improve student hands-on laboratory skills in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory. Digital badging is a form of assessment that allows students greater choice in determining what is presented to demonstrate proficiency and provides direct evidence of the meaningful application of knowledge, as well as allowing students to incorporate instructor feedback while gaining mastery. Digital badging offers a novel and innovative way to assess laboratory skills. In The Digital Pipetting Badge: A Method To Improve Student Hands-On Laboratory Skills, Marcy Towns, Cynthia J. Harwood, M. Brooke Robertshaw, Jason Fish, and Kevin O’Shea discuss how this digital badge has significantly improved students’ hands-on laboratory skills as assessed by observations, student surveys, and test item results.  Additional articles on research on learning in the laboratory can be found in this issue:

General Chemistry Students’ Goals for Chemistry Laboratory Coursework ~ Brittland K. DeKorver and Marcy H. Towns

Measuring Meaningful Learning in the Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory: A National, Cross-Sectional Study ~ Kelli R. Galloway and Stacey Lowery Bretz

Measuring Meaningful Learning in the Undergraduate General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry Laboratories: A Longitudinal Study ~ Kelli R. Galloway and Stacey Lowery Bretz

Understanding Structure–Property Relationships

Atoms versus Bonds: How Students Look at Spectra ~ Steven Cullipher and Hannah Sevian

Interpreting Data: The Hybrid Mind ~ Kimberly Heisterkamp and Vicente Talanquer

Are Noncovalent Interactions an Achilles Heel in Chemistry Education? A Comparison of Instructional Approaches ~ Leah C. Williams, Sonia M. Underwood, Michael W. Klymkowsky, and Melanie M. Cooper

Using Data from ACS Exams

Commentary: Pencil–Paper Learning Should Be Combined with Online Homework Software ~ David B. Smithrud and Allan R. Pinhas

Methods for Addressing Missing Data with Applications from ACS Exams ~ Alexandra Brandriet and Thomas Holme

Development of the Exams Data Analysis Spreadsheet as a Tool To Help Instructors Conduct Customizable Analyses of Student ACS Exam Data ~ Alexandra Brandriet and Thomas Holme

Inquiry- and Problem-Based Learning

Using Inquiry To Break the Language Barrier in Chemistry Classrooms ~ Andrew Adams, Weston Jessup, Brett A. Criswell, Consuelo Weaver-High, and Gregory T. Rushton

Implementation of Problem-Based Learning in Environmental Chemistry ~ Stina Jansson, Hanna Söderström, Patrik L. Andersson, and Malin L. Nording

Heterogeneous Catalysis: Deuterium Exchange Reactions of Hydrogen and Methane ~Anne Mirich, Trisha Hoette Miller, Elsbeth Klotz, and Bruce Mattson

Incorporating Research-Based Problems from the Primary Literature into a Large-Scale Organic Structure Analysis Course ~ Jiahai Ma

An Inquiry-Based Project Focused on the X-ray Powder Diffraction Analysis of Common Household Solids ~ Molly L. Hulien, Jonathan W. Lekse, Kimberly A. Rosmus, Kasey P. Devlin, Jennifer R. Glenn, Stephen D. Wisneski, Peter Wildfong, Charles H. Lake, Joseph H. MacNeil, and Jennifer A. Aitken

Foundation-Level Instruction

Reactivity I: A Foundation-Level Course for Both Majors and Nonmajors in Integrated Organic, Inorganic, and Biochemistry ~ Chris P. Schaller, Kate J. Graham, Brian J. Johnson, T. Nicholas Jones, and Edward J. McIntee

A Wiki-Based Group Project in an Inorganic Chemistry Foundation Course ~ Kathleen E. Kristian

Teaching Physical Chemistry


Why Combustions Are Always Exothermic, Yielding About 418 kJ per Mole of O2 ~ Klaus Schmidt-Rohr

Teaching Thermodynamics of Ideal Solutions: An Entropy-Based Approach To Help Students Better Understand and Appreciate the Subtleties of Solution Models ~ J. Pablo Tomba

Quantum Chemistry

3D Printed Potential and Free Energy Surfaces for Teaching Fundamental Concepts in Physical Chemistry ~ Danil S. Kaliakin, Ryan R. Zaari, and Sergey A. Varganov

Illustrating Concepts in Physical Organic Chemistry with 3D Printed Orbitals ~ Michael J. Robertson and William L. Jorgensen

Open-Access, Interactive Explorations for Teaching and Learning Quantum Dynamics ~ Nicholas F. Polizzi and David N. Beratan

Particle on a Ring Spectroscopic Selection Rules Determined by Group Theory ~ Victoria S. Jackson and Darren L. Williams

Laboratory Experiements

Molar Mass and Second Virial Coefficient of Polyethylene Glycol by Vapor Pressure Osmometry ~ Jeffrey J. Schwinefus, Caleb Checkal, Brian Saksa, Nadia Baka, Kalpit Modi, and Carlos Rivera

Resonance Energy of an Arene Hydrocarbon from Heat of Combustion Measurements ~ Vladimir L. Kolesnichenko

Examining Protein Structure

Using Crystallographic Data To Facilitate Students’ Discovery of How Protein Models Are Produced—An Activity Illustrating the Effect of Resolution on Model Quality ~ Hazel. R. Corradi

3D Printing of Protein Models in an Undergraduate Laboratory: Leucine Zippers ~ Scott C. Meyer

A Size Exclusion Chromatography Laboratory with Unknowns for Introductory Students ~ Edward J. McIntee, Kate J. Graham, Edward C. Colosky, and Henry V. Jakubowski

Studying Cooperative Ligand Binding in the Undergraduate Biochemistry Laboratory: Oxygen–Hemoglobin Dissociation Revisited ~Megan K. M. Young and Theodore J. Gries

Interdisciplinary Laboratory Experiments

Exploring Hydrogen Evolution and the Overpotential ~ Yana A. Lyon, Adrienne A. Roberts, and David R. McMillin

Opposites Attract: Organic Charge Transfer Salts ~ Heidi L. van de Wouw, Juan Chamorro, Michael Quintero, and Rebekka S. Klausen

Synthesis and Characterization of Copper Complexes with a Tridentate Nitrogen-Donor Ligand: An Integrated Research Experiment for Undergraduate Students ~ Katherine A. Bussey, Annie R. Cavalier, Jennifer R. Connell, Margaret E. Mraz, Ashley S. Holderread, Kayode D. Oshin, and Tomislav Pintauer

On-Line Synthesis and Analysis by Mass Spectrometry ~ Ryan M. Bain, Christopher J. Pulliam, Shannon A. Raab, and R. Graham Cooks

From the Archives: Chemistry and Toys

This issue of the Journal of Chemical Education marks 92 rich years of providing useful materials for chemical educators. As we look to 2016, we wish you a happy new year filled with many opportunities to enjoy chemistry, such as these articles on chemistry-related toys:

JCE Resources for Chemistry and Toys ~ Erica K. Jacobsen

Toys in the Classroom ~ Arlyne. M. (Mickey) Sarquis and Jerry L. Sarquis

The Fizz-Keeper: A Useful Science Tool ~ Sandy Van Natta, Rebecca Knipp, and John P. Williams

That's the Way the Ball Bounces (or Is It?) ~ Erica K. Jacobsen

How Heavy Is a Balloon? Using the Ideal Gas Law ~ Bettie Obi Johnson and Henry Van Milligan

The Dynamic Density Bottle: A Make-and-Take, Guided Inquiry Activity on Density ~ Thomas S. Kuntzleman

From Desktop Toy to Educational Aid: Neo Magnets as an Alternative to Ball-and-Stick Models in Representing Carbon Fullerenes ~ Jacqueline Y. Kao, Min-Han Yang, and Chi-Young Lee

Using JCE Resources Is Good Practice

With 92 volumes of the Journal of Chemical Education to explore, you will always find something useful—including all of the articles mentioned above, and many more, in the Journal of Chemical Education. Articles that are edited and published online ahead of print (ASAP—As Soon As Publishable) are also available.

If you are considering writing an article for JCE, there are numerous author resources available on JCE’s ACS Web site, including Author Guidelines, Document Templates, and Reference Guidelines.