Analytical Chemistry

Analytical chemistry


Write your course before the semester starts so that you know what the flow is and what the connections are. If you’re always writing one lecture ahead of them you have no idea what’s coming in the future therefore you can’t make the connections across the whole set of lectures. It’s very important to be able to know what’s coming, know what’s gone behind and know what you’re doing at the moment.

Eye Contact

Use a lot of eye contact, the people in the back row are not anonymous, make sure you’re talking to them and make sure that you see them. Make sure you’re looking at them. So you’ve got to focus on the whole class not just the people at the front, the people at the back as well.


So the strategy is to reflect, to change things, to be flexible, to talk to them but not talk down to them, and don’t be writing the lecture the night before.


Use anecdotes from your own experience. It builds emotional connections.

Forbidden Transitions Analogy

Use an analogy for forbidden transitions in phosphorescence: Anecdotes from the movie 'Born American' (1986). American Backpackers cross from Finland into Soviet era Russia and try to get out again!

Multiple Projectors to Connect Concepts

Use multiple projection screens simultaneously. Move between screens, explaining concepts separately and then linking them together.

Practice Spectroscopy

Extensive problem solving is essential when doing spectroscopy, because it’s such an applied field.

Forensic Case Studies

When teaching forensic science you can make use of case studies, which is nothing more than story telling really.

Contextualize Practical Course

Contextualize the practical component of the course and ask students to justify why a technique can be used for a particular sample.

The Analytical Approach

Rather than focusing on techniques, you need to look at the big picture - a holistic big picture of the analytical approach. That’s not going to change, but over time the techniques do change. For example, radiological techniques such as scintillation counters are not used much anymore.


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