Session S56a (Wednesday, 9:30am, Osmond 101)

P632: Atoms first at Grand Valley State University: The how and why

Thomas Pentecost, Julie Henderleiter (Grand Valley State University, USA)

Our first semester general chemistry course has been “atoms-first” for nearly two decades. In our curriculum chemical reactions are introduced midway through the semester. This presents an issue in the selection of laboratory experiments for use at the beginning of the semester. We recently undertook a redesign of the first semester laboratory, in part to better align the laboratory with the lecture. In this talk we will describe our lecture sequence, the rationale behind our atoms-first approach, and challenges and benefits the structure brings to teaching and learning. We will also describe both the old and new first semester laboratory sequence and the rationale that drove the change in laboratory sequence.

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