The Analytical Dilemma: What Then Shall We Teach? Curriculum
Monday, March 1st, 2010
01:00 - 03:00 PM Room: 311H

Michael Samide and Olujide Butler University Akinbo

Over the years, the discipline of analytical chemistry has evolved and keeps evolving with newer techniques, technologies and methodologies being developed almost at an exponential rate. Concomitantly, the body of information that could be taught in the classroom to students is also growing. However, the time available to teach the material has remained almost constant. As such, a solution must be proffered to take full advantage of this situation. We can not demand more time as this will take time away from other things that the students require for balanced academic development. In addition, we can not teach the entire library of analytical information. We must recognize the fact that there is a limit to the amount of information that the student can handle in a given semester, otherwise diminishing returns set in and learning gains drop below an optimum level.

In light of this, what amount of content is necessary to facilitate optimum learning gains? What topics should comprise the most appropriate content? Should a single set of topics be adopted by all or should we have the freedom to pick and choose from the library in order to make the most of institutional resources? Should our focus be on the raw content or on some main principles that form the foundation of analytical chemistry? If the answer to the last question centers on the main principles, then can we use different content to deliver these principles?

These and other questions will be the focus of discussion in this session. Participants in this conferee network session will be asked to share issues and concerns along with the best practices they have employed to deliver the analytical chemistry curriculum.