#### Session Type

Poster

#### Start Date

6-7-2011 5:30 PM

#### Keywords

Chemistry, new teaching method, concept based approach

#### Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

#### Abstract

The **Periodic Table of the Elements **is one of the central topics in introductory level chemistry courses. Traditionally, students are taught the fundamental theories of atomic models, periodic properties of the elements and quantum chemistry within an historic and/or conceptual perspective. Such approach can generate misconceptions and a lack of full comprehensive understanding of the concept of the Periodic Table of the Elements as students sometimes rather memorize the information only to be repeated at exams. Some students, despite obtaining high marks, do not fully comprehend it. In addition, there is surprisingly little research available in literature about the effectiveness of teaching of the Periodic Table of the Elements.

This poster presentation discusses in-class assignment/ group work, developed during three introductory inorganic chemistry courses, which is a hands-on and fun process that explains, **step-by-step**, the intrinsic concepts of Periodic Table of the Elements of “our” universe by comparison with imaginary, different universes’ tables. The “discovery” of these new universes (i.e. highly periodic to complex periodic) helps the students to understand the fundamental concepts combined in the standard Periodic Table of the Elements of “our” universe and that its contents are based on scientific evidence and are ** not** arbitrary. Also, such conceptual approach can be used for testing the students’ understanding by providing a new, different Periodic Table at an exam (which element properties cannot just be memorized in advance) and hence conceptual aspects can be evaluated. To date, qualitative student feedback has been obtained and a quantitative study evaluation the teaching effectiveness of this approach is planned.

The "Universal" Approach to the Teaching of the Periodic Table of the Elements

The **Periodic Table of the Elements **is one of the central topics in introductory level chemistry courses. Traditionally, students are taught the fundamental theories of atomic models, periodic properties of the elements and quantum chemistry within an historic and/or conceptual perspective. Such approach can generate misconceptions and a lack of full comprehensive understanding of the concept of the Periodic Table of the Elements as students sometimes rather memorize the information only to be repeated at exams. Some students, despite obtaining high marks, do not fully comprehend it. In addition, there is surprisingly little research available in literature about the effectiveness of teaching of the Periodic Table of the Elements.

This poster presentation discusses in-class assignment/ group work, developed during three introductory inorganic chemistry courses, which is a hands-on and fun process that explains, **step-by-step**, the intrinsic concepts of Periodic Table of the Elements of “our” universe by comparison with imaginary, different universes’ tables. The “discovery” of these new universes (i.e. highly periodic to complex periodic) helps the students to understand the fundamental concepts combined in the standard Periodic Table of the Elements of “our” universe and that its contents are based on scientific evidence and are ** not** arbitrary. Also, such conceptual approach can be used for testing the students’ understanding by providing a new, different Periodic Table at an exam (which element properties cannot just be memorized in advance) and hence conceptual aspects can be evaluated. To date, qualitative student feedback has been obtained and a quantitative study evaluation the teaching effectiveness of this approach is planned.