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Paper: An Inquiry Based Exercise Using X-ray Diffraction Data to Incite Student Learning
Volume: 436, Learning from Inquiry In Practice
Page: 181
Authors: Rogow, D. L.; McDonald, W.; Bresler, M. R.
Abstract: An inquiry based learning exercise was designed for an upper division advanced inorganic laboratory course that meets one of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The content goals of this exercise were evaluation of whether a given solid state structure was previously known by using powder X-ray diffraction data, and understanding how the diffraction pattern relates to the crystal structure of the compound in question. The scientific process goals included searching a database to match the patterns and preparing data for oral presentations. The goals of the exercise were addressed via an activity allowing students to utilize real X-ray powder diffraction data to search and match with known structures in a database (International Crystal Structure Database) and to give an oral presentation. After students found their structures in the database, they prepared oral presentations justifying their choice for the match and their reasoning through structural analysis of the X-ray data. Students learned about X-ray diffraction theory in an inquiry type environment and gained valuable experience and confidence in presenting their findings using strong reasoning and communication skills. Assessment was implemented during active facilitation throughout the activity and during the final oral presentations.
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