Transforming undergraduate students into junior researchers: oxidation–reduction sequence as a problem-based case study

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Tiina Saloranta, Jan-Erik Lönnqvist, Patrik C. Eklund
Publication year: 2016
Journal: Journal of Chemical Education
Journal acronym: J CHEM EDUC
Volume number: 93
Issue number: 5
Start page: 841
End page: 846
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 0021-9584
eISSN: 1938-1328


In our upper-level undergraduate laboratory course in organic chemistry we focus on a research-oriented task in a context-based and problem-based learning approach. The course starts with a preliminary training period where the students learn how to safely and independently perform synthesis and purification procedures and to operate the most common analysis instruments. In the latter part of the course, the students are asked to perform an oxidation-reduction sequence with a chiral, optically pure terpene alcohol, such as menthol or borneol, as a starting material. This part is presented as a problem scenario and the students, working in small groups, are supposed to plan and execute the experimental work independently. Importantly, the research task presented herein is aimed to promote the undergraduate students' creative thinking as well as the problem solving skills in organic chemistry.


Alcohols, Inquiry-Based Learning, Organic Chemistry, Oxidation/Reduction, Stereochemistry, Upper-Division Undergraduate

Last updated on 2020-23-02 at 02:51