Collaborative Research: Analytical Method Transfer - Development of Case Studies
In this collaborative project undergraduate students enrolled in senior-level analytical chemistry laboratory courses at St. John Fisher College and Kennesaw State University are creating two novel experiments that are being validated through Analytical Method Transfer (AMT). Students at one college develop the experimental method, standard operating procedures, and figures of merit (i.e., accuracy, precision, specificity, selectivity, sensitivity, repeatability, reproducibility, linearity, range, detection limit, quantitation limit, robustness, and ruggedness). The experiment is transferred to the partnering college to undergo method equivalency testing by students. The experiments involve the dissolution of pharmaceutical dosage forms with the development of dissolution curves (release rates). Using UV-Vis spectroscopy or HPLC methods, the students determine the concentration of the active pharmaceutical ingredient in the dissolution media. A statistical comparison of the figures of merit determines the success of the AMT. The transferred experiments and student-generated data are being developed into case studies that use POGIL exercises. The student learning outcomes related to the AMT are being assessed through a standard pre-test and post-test method using multiple choice and free-response questions. In addition, students at four other colleges are evaluating the developed POGIL activities but are not using instrumentation. The collected data will be used to determine whether the learning outcomes for students participating in a laboratory POGIL activity (with access to instrumentation) are equivalent to those for students participating in a classroom POGIL activity (with no access to instrumentation). Student interviews are being conducted to determine whether any learning gains in AMT may be attributed to the POGIL activities. The interview results provide contextual information allowing project staff to tailor the POGIL activities to the students' experiences. Site visits also are being used to evaluate the fidelity of the implementation of the POGIL activities by documenting variables such as adherence to project goals and use of effective POGIL. The findings from the project are being disseminated through publications and presentations.
Intellectual Merit. The teaching of AMT places students at the forefront of the global learning environment in analytical chemistry. Students 1) use a new instrument, a dissolution tester, not currently available in most analytical chemistry laboratories, and 2) address the curriculum concept of AMT, which is conducted world-wide but not currently taught to undergraduates. This engages both students and faculty in the discovery of acceptance criteria for an AMT based on figures of merit.
Broader Impact. This project is designed to facilitate adaptation of a new laboratory experiment at other sites and promotes a collaborative effort of an inter-institutional faculty-student partnership. The results are being disseminated broadly, helping to build a STEM education community. The technical skills of students are being broadened, enabling them to become competitive in the global market place.