Faculty 1, Department of Chemistry
A serious game for use in chemistry studies
A serious game which integrates playful elements into the dry technical material of the course “Toxicology and Law” was developed to increase student motivation. In the game, the world population is threatened by a bioterrorist attack using anthrax. The student takes on the role of a scientist who has to develop a new drug to save humanity. In this role, students become acquainted with different ways of working in cell biological laboratories, learn the laboratory safety practices and procedures and have ample opportunities to practice their data interpretation skills. While they play the game, virtual students ask them questions about the lecture material, so that the students can easily check their knowledge of the course material.
In winter semester 2018/19, 130 chemistry students in their third semester played the game for the first time. In the coming years, the impact of the game on student learning outcomes will be investigated. However, it can already be said that using the game greatly improved the motivation of the students.
Serious-Game: "Die Rettung der Zink & Co."
"Die Rettung der Zink & Co." or "The Rescue of Zinc & Co.“ is the first of its kind at RWTH. Professor Marcel Liauw and his team developed the game for the compulsory course "Technical Chemistry II: Reaction Technology." The game offers students the opportunity to apply and practice their knowledge of the course material, while solving relevant, practical problems in a virtual chemical facility.
Crystal Growth and Digital Photography in the Laboratory Course General Chemistry II
Experimental topics in the laboratory course “General Chemistry II” were updated to prepare the students better for fundamental research. In response to the growing importance of the research topic "crystal growth", traditional methods of qualitative inorganic analysis were partly replaced by crystal chemistry. Crystal microscopy is already an established analytical method, but developments in the field of digital photography can now be exploited to allow electronic documentation and comparison of laboratory results. In addition to promoting independent, self-paced work, the new experiments are designed to stimulate communication between students and promote cooperative learning. Experimental techniques that allow reliable crystal growth have been optimized in the lab. Specialized microscopic techniques also expose students in their second semester to the application of polarized light. Polarization filters make it possible to observe small, colorless crystals by increasing contrast, enabling their identification. All experiments use microscale laboratory techniques so that only very small amounts of substances are required and toxic waste is drastically reduced. This is beneficial from an ecological as well as from a safety point of view. Furthermore, highly toxic elements such as arsenic or mercury were eliminated in the redesign of the experiments.
The laboratory script that the students receive includes QR codes with links to videos that provide support when planning and interpreting the experiments.