Shaun Murphree, Theodore Bean, Jeremy Mason, Michelle Perry (Allegheny College, USA)
A sophomore-level organic laboratory curriculum has been developed using microwave-assisted organic synthesis (MAOS). The time savings afforded by the rapid microwave reactions allows for time in the lab to be spent on activities normally neglected, such as experimental design, debriefing of analysis, and reaction optimization.
The revised curriculum is supported by a variety of new materials, including: a) pre-lab activities; b) “technique primers”, one-page resources for specific lab techniques; c) case studies which frame the particular laboratory activity; and d) instructor materials. The course is constructed so that new techniques are introduced in cascading fashion in order to control the cognitive load involved in the practical activities.
The presentation will address: 1) the development of new synthetic methods adapted to microwave reactors; 2) the construction of new laboratory materials to support the modified curriculum; 3) issues regarding implementation; and 4) assessment results.