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Novel approaches to hands-on crystallography learning for undergraduate students.

Novel approaches to hands-on crystallography learning for undergraduate students.
Novel approaches to hands-on crystallography learning for undergraduate students.
An exercise was designed in response to the need for increased hands-on experience with technical analytical instrumentation for undergraduate students as an “advanced practical”. The resulting practical, described in J. Chem. Educ.1, is based around the solid-state structural chemistry of a polymorphic molecular system (glycine). The course, delivered to 70 students in its first year, contains numerous novel features: ‘Hands-on’ experience with single crystal and powder diffractometers (Rigaku XtaLAB mini and MiniFlex benchtop systems) for every participant; A student-managed activity providing a taste of the research experience; manuals made available to students via an Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN); Plans, experimental enactments, observations and conclusions (directly linked to the manual sections) recorded by students in the ELN; Targeted feedback and assessment delivered through the ELN. Evaluation studies revealed numerous successes and areas for further development.

A requirement for an increased educational return led to a review of the practical which concluded that the “cookbook” style practical could be superseded by a problem-led exercise. This led to a significant redesign of the practical, run within the same logistical constraints, where students are trained to use the instrumentation and then presented with a problem to solve. The problem is one of co-crystal design where students are given a list of compounds and asked to use these to modify the properties of an “API”, via co-crystallisation, to develop a new product with particular (pharmaceutical) properties. The problem can only be addressed using a combination of the various analytical techniques available. Using a novel software platform (Labdog), designed specifically to support practical-based education, the students must plan and justify a set of experiments that they then go on to perform. The student plans, observations and conclusions are recorded, assessed and given feedback within the Labdog system.

We will present details of the implementation and evaluation of both of these practicals.
Coles, Simon J.
3116f58b-c30c-48cf-bdd5-397d1c1fecf8
Mapp, Lucy
b90136ce-37b0-464a-8934-d44a8c2d7e48
Milsted, Sarah J
6f72274a-1cc2-4ab8-b465-00c2394628ee
Horton, Peter
154c8930-bfc3-495b-ad4a-8a278d5da3a5
Coles, Simon J.
3116f58b-c30c-48cf-bdd5-397d1c1fecf8
Mapp, Lucy
b90136ce-37b0-464a-8934-d44a8c2d7e48
Milsted, Sarah J
6f72274a-1cc2-4ab8-b465-00c2394628ee
Horton, Peter
154c8930-bfc3-495b-ad4a-8a278d5da3a5

Coles, Simon J., Mapp, Lucy, Milsted, Sarah J and Horton, Peter (2017) Novel approaches to hands-on crystallography learning for undergraduate students. BCA Spring Meeting 2017, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, United Kingdom. 10 - 13 Apr 2017. 1 pp . (doi:10.5258/SOTON/P0111).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)

Abstract

An exercise was designed in response to the need for increased hands-on experience with technical analytical instrumentation for undergraduate students as an “advanced practical”. The resulting practical, described in J. Chem. Educ.1, is based around the solid-state structural chemistry of a polymorphic molecular system (glycine). The course, delivered to 70 students in its first year, contains numerous novel features: ‘Hands-on’ experience with single crystal and powder diffractometers (Rigaku XtaLAB mini and MiniFlex benchtop systems) for every participant; A student-managed activity providing a taste of the research experience; manuals made available to students via an Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN); Plans, experimental enactments, observations and conclusions (directly linked to the manual sections) recorded by students in the ELN; Targeted feedback and assessment delivered through the ELN. Evaluation studies revealed numerous successes and areas for further development.

A requirement for an increased educational return led to a review of the practical which concluded that the “cookbook” style practical could be superseded by a problem-led exercise. This led to a significant redesign of the practical, run within the same logistical constraints, where students are trained to use the instrumentation and then presented with a problem to solve. The problem is one of co-crystal design where students are given a list of compounds and asked to use these to modify the properties of an “API”, via co-crystallisation, to develop a new product with particular (pharmaceutical) properties. The problem can only be addressed using a combination of the various analytical techniques available. Using a novel software platform (Labdog), designed specifically to support practical-based education, the students must plan and justify a set of experiments that they then go on to perform. The student plans, observations and conclusions are recorded, assessed and given feedback within the Labdog system.

We will present details of the implementation and evaluation of both of these practicals.

Text
BCA2017AdvPract Poster final - Version of Record
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More information

Published date: 10 April 2017
Venue - Dates: BCA Spring Meeting 2017, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, United Kingdom, 2017-04-10 - 2017-04-13

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449402
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449402
PURE UUID: 0ea2b8a3-1715-43f2-ab45-6496cbdc2986
ORCID for Simon J. Coles: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8414-9272
ORCID for Peter Horton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8886-2016

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 May 2021 16:30
Last modified: 16 Jul 2021 01:38

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