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CHEM 1810 (Lab)UVA Home

Chemical Principles Laboratory (CHEM 181L)

Course Obectives

Principles of Chemical Structure Laboratory (CHEM 1811) was designed with a number of learning objectives in mind. Some focus on tangible knowledge and skills while others are more abstract and long-term. All learning activities in the course rely and/or build upon one or more of these objectives. After looking them over, I encourage you to reflect on how these learning objectives coincide or differ from your personal goals for the course.

Overriding Objective: As a result of this course, I will better understand how to think like a scientist. More specifically:

Why should I care about this course?
I will…
1. begin to recognize the possibilities of chemistry in my field of study
2. see the role of chemistry in other scientific disciplines (e.g. biology, physics, engineering,
psychology, medicine, environmental science, etc.)
3. be able to identify chemistry and chemical processes in my everyday private and public life
4. see the value of a well thought-out and executed experiment
5. see the importance of solving a difficult problem in a systematic and precise manner
6. recognize that I have the ability to generate, evaluate, and critically analyze scientific data

What knowledge should I attain from this course?
I will…
1. understand and remember the key aspects of the scientific method of discovery
2. understand the motivation and methodology of scientific writing
3. know that chemical properties can be predicted and measured in a laboratory
4. know the basic premises behind some of the experimental methods used to help
determine chemical structure and reactivity (theory, IR, NMR, UV/Vis)

What skills should I garner from this course?
I will…
1. be familiar with common experimental laboratory techniques
be able to construct, optimize and investigate properties of molecules computationally [skill]
3. be able to write aspects of a research-quality paper [skill]
4. begin to be able to identify chemical problems which can be addressed in a laboratory
setting (computationally or experimentally) [analytical thinking]
5. be able to look critically at my and other's experimental work (i.e. recognize "good"
science) [critical thinking]

How will this course help me be a better learner?
I will…
1. know how the scientific method works and will be able to apply it to a host of problems
2. be able to explore the current scientific literature without intimidation
3. better understand my strengths and weaknesses in scientific inquiry
4. understand the value of other people's skills and learn to make best use of them

© 2004-2013 Michael Palmer