CH1CC2-Chemical Concepts and Skills 1

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:4
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: CH1IN1 Fundamentals of Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table CH1OR1 Shape, Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry CH1PH1 Physical Processes and Molecular Organisation
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Matthew Almond

Email: m.j.almond@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module is designed to  help students develop the independent learning skills necessary for higher level studies and to introduce students to the concepts of open and closed types of problem solving and help them develop effective problem-solving strategies. The module will help students to develop self-study skills to enable them to research an unknown topic, learn about it and solve a problem based upon it and to familiarise students with a range of resources for researching unknowns. A further aim of the module is to help students develop effective time management, organisation and team working skills and to give students practice and support in written and oral communication and to develop scientific writing skills. The module will also allow students to begin to consider career plans and prepare applications for industrial placements and internships.


Aims:
To help students develop the independent learning skills necessary for higher level studies.
To introduce students to the concepts of open and closed types of problem solving and help them develop effective problem-solving strategies.
To help students develop self-study skills to enable them to research an unknown topic, learn about it and solve a problem based upon it.
To introduce students to a range of programmes and packages used routinely by chemists.
To familiarise students with a range of resources for researching unknowns.
To help students develop effective time management, organisation and team working skills.
To give students practice and support in written and oral communication and to develop scientific writing skills.
To introduce the Undergraduate Skills Record as a mechanism for professional development planning and reflection.
To begin to consider career plans and prepare applications for industrial placements and internships.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students should be able to :
Tackle unseen problems and devise strategies for solving them.
Make predictions and ‘guesstimates’ based on sound scientific knowledge or data.
Extract and manipulate numerical data.
Organise themselves and team members to communicate in appropriate ways or through appropriate media.
Access a variety of resources including the chemical literature to obtain data and summarise findings.
Construct a reasoned argument to arrive at a valid solution to a problem.
Write a report using suitable scientific language to justify the methods used to solve the problem and the results.
Present the findings and results orally.

Additional outcomes:
Students will improve their research, organisational, time management, team working, IT and oral communication skills. Students will be encouraged to think creatively, identify trends in data and ignore superfluous information. Students will learn to make value judgments about their own work and the work of peers. In addition they will improve their numeracy skills.

Outline content:
Students will be presented with a series of problems throughout the course of the module, and given preliminary sources to investigate in order to solve the problems. They will be expected to work in set teams, to analyse the problem, to decide upon an approach, to research the given sources and explore others. The problems will not necessarily have right or wrong answers. Students will be assessed on their approach to the problems and where relevant the quality of their answers.

Autumn Term
Week 2: Thinking outside the box. (M.J. Almond and S.Wade) (2 hour lectures)
An introduction to skills development and the role of personal tutor meetings, the RSC Undergraduate Skills Record in skills reflection. Introduction to team working, the Blackboard site and assessment format for the module. An introduction to unseen problem solving in a scientific context.
Week 2-3 problem solving in teams
Week 3: Groups present findings orally (2 hour lectures)

Weeks 4-8 Challenge 1 Chemical Elements in the Real World (M.J. Almond, S.Wade and C.Smith plus library and study skills staff)
This challenge involves students researching suitable elements to fulfill various real world applications and investigating the properties of the elements they identify and explaining their function in terms of properties and position in the Periodic Table.
Week 4 Effective Group Working. (2 hours lectures)
Introduction to problems for Challenge 1 and guidance on using library resources
Week 5 Opportunity to discuss problems (1 hour drop-in session and group work)
Week 6 Opportunity to discuss problems (1 hour drop-in session and group work)
Week 7 Opportunity to discuss problems (1 hour drop-in session and group work)
Week 8 Plenary Feedback on Challenge 1(M.J. Almond, S. Wade and C. Smith) (2 hour presentation)

Weeks 9 (Aut) -1 (Spr) Challenge 2 Organic Chemistry – (2 x 2 hour lectures) (A.T Russell and J.E. Mckendrick)
Students will research the reason behind the reactivity of the carbonyl group and will build on their existing knowledge of carbonyl reactions by classifying a set of given reactions into 1 of 3 general mechanism groups. These fundamental principles will be applied to a context based problem.

Week 5: Using a laboratory notebook (J.E. Mckendrick) (1 hour lecture)
Week 10 Introduction to ChemDraw and preliminary work for workshop (J.E. Mckendrick)(2 hour lecture)
Week 11: Avoiding Plagiarism and using Turnitin. Introduction to précis writing. (M.J. Almond and S.Wade). 1 hour lecture)
Week 11 Opportunity to discuss preliminary work/ ChemDraw help (1 hour drop-in session)

Spring Term
Week 1 Workshop based on preliminary work for Challenge 2 (2 hour workshop)
Week 2 group work

Weeks 3-7 Challenge 3 Physical Chemistry - How spectroscopy can prove how many molecules fit in a matchbox. (D. Nutt)
Students will research topics such as moments of inertia, reduced mass, angular momentum etc and use their findings about rotational and infra-red spectroscopy to work out how many molecules would fit in a matchbox.
Week 3 Introduction to problems (2 hour lecture)
Week 4 Opportunity to discuss problems (1 hour drop-in session and group work)
Week 5 Opportunity to discuss problems (1 hour drop-in session and group work)
Week 7 Plenary Feedback on Challenge 3 (2 hour lecture and peer feedback on reports)

Weeks 3-6 IT Skills for Chemists (2 x 1 hour lectures and 4 x 3 hour workshops) (A.M. Squires and R.A. Bennett)
IT Skills AM Squires and RA Bennett
Use of Microsoft packages: Excel, Chem Draw / Chem3D.
Use of spreadsheets for solving problems graphically
Use of ChemDraw / Chem3D for molecular modelling

Weeks 7-9 Fundamental Physics for Chemists (3 x 1 hour lectures plus 1 hour workshop)
RA Bennett

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be delivered by introductory talks and videos for each topic. A Blackboard site will be provided giving links and information about all the resources recommended for solving the problem. Students will be expected to research and précis appropriate literature and to discuss findings within teams or by Wikis. Opportunities are built into the module for students to approach staff for guidance and feedback. Student feedback will be delivered at the plenary sessions for oral presentations and via written comments or podcasts on Blackboard for the formal report summaries.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12 18
Seminars 5
Practicals classes and workshops 2 13
Fieldwork 6
Guided independent study 76 68
       
Total hours by term 90.00 110.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Oral assessment and presentation 12.5
Set exercise 87.5

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is continually assessed,
Each challenge will have a variety of assessment methods and criteria.
Thinking outside the box: Formatively assessed by peer and staff feedback on presentation. Contribution to wikis assessed by staff.
Challenge 1 (Inorganic Challenge): 25%
A group poster. Assessed by staff.
A 5 minute group presentation, summatively assessed by staff. Mark adjusted according to individual contribution to group determined by peer assessment.

Challenge 2 (Organic Challenge): 10%
Assessed by feedback on preliminary work and completion of workshop. 10%

Vacation work (Precis): 20%
A half page summary précis exercise summatively assessed by staff.

Challenge 3 (Physical Challenge): 25%
A group report: a summary of the nature of the problem, how they approached it, how they solved it, a description of their solution and an evaluation of confidence in their result - (guide 2,000 words per report).
IT skills coursework: 20%
Group mark for the report will be adjusted for each individual according to:
Anonymous peer assessment by other group members of the contribution made by the individual.
Students’ individual contributions to wikis on Blackboard will be assessed throughout the module.
Submission dates:
Poster and presentation Challenge 1 Week 8 Autumn term
Précis Week 1 Spring term
Organic workshop, Challenge 2 Week 2 Spring term
Group report and presentation Challenge 3 Week 7 Spring term

Formative assessment methods:
Thinking outside the box – group work and presentation – week 2/3
Team working workshop and feedback – week 4

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Two extended individual summary reports to be written on topics other than the original ones.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 11 September 2017

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