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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 17 (2012) pp 006-014
DOI 10.1007/s00897122407a

Teaching Undergraduates Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Using POGIL-Based Laboratory Experiments, and Development of a Five-Day Workshop for Collaborative Community Colleges – an NSF-Supported Project

Massimo D. Bezoari*, Margaret E. Cochran, and Jacqueline Mason

Northwestern State University, LA Scholars’ College, Caspari Street, Natchitoches, LA 71497,
Received July 5, 2011. Accepted September 19, 2011.

Published: 24 February 2012

Abstract. Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) lesson plans were developed and used in undergraduate General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis and Advanced Instrumental Analysis Laboratory courses at Northwestern State University (LA) to develop student skills in gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and expose students to stimulating experiments in a research-oriented environment. The pedagogy was applied to experiments adapted from the literature, as well as a novel application in the GCMS analysis of organosulfur compounds in selected foods. The range of experiments emphasizes the scope and limitations of GCMS analysis, and adds to student skills and knowledge incrementally. A five-day workshop was developed around these experiments. The workshop was conducted twice, in 2010 and 2011, and successfully involved students and faculty from two regional community colleges in this NSF-supported project. (The three faculty members from these institutions attended as observers, and also to chaperone their students as they were away from their homes.)Statistical analysis of pre-lab and post-lab cognitive testing over a two-year period indicates a significant improvement in student knowledge of GCMS-based analysis.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; instrumental analysis; active learning; POGIL; GCMS experiments; workshop for GCMS analysis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (59 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

The supporting materials provide detailed lesson plans, using the POGIL approach, for the following undergraduate GCMS-related experiments. (1.4 MB)

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