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Advanced inorganic chemistry laboratory curricula in Australian universities: investigating the major topics and approaches to learning


Bissember, AC and Connell, TU and Fuller, RO and Pullen, R and Yeung, A, Advanced inorganic chemistry laboratory curricula in Australian universities: investigating the major topics and approaches to learning, Australian Journal of Chemistry: An International Journal for Chemical Science, 75, (9) pp. 698-707. ISSN 0004-9425 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2022 The Author(s). Published by CSIRO Publishing. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed.


The teaching laboratory remains an important environment for developing undergraduate chemists, but the inherent diversity of inorganic chemistry results in less standardised undergraduate curricula than other sub-disciplines. This study surveys the content of advanced (third-year) inorganic chemistry across Australia and reviews experimental materials from 15 universities that offer inorganic laboratory programmes at this level. All institutions offer at least one traditional inorganic experiment, the most common being the preparation and acetylation of ferrocene, spectroscopy and magnetochemistry of nickel coordination compounds and palladium-catalysed cross-couplings. These inorganic classics are complemented by a breadth of non-traditional offerings that often align with institutional research strengths. Academic unit coordinators were also surveyed and their responses interpreted using ASELL (Advancing Science and Engineering through Laboratory Learning) tools. Advanced inorganic laboratory programmes were found to develop students' practical and transferrable skills. Students generally receive guidance from teaching staff in all aspects of experimental work, including planning, development, analysis and communicating conclusions. Academic unit coordinators identified potential improvements that included diversifying student activities in the lab and how they are being assessed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, curriculum, inorganic chemistry, practical laboratory, third-year, undergraduate
Research Division:Chemical Sciences
Research Group:Inorganic chemistry
Research Field:Transition metal chemistry
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences
UTAS Author:Bissember, AC (Associate Professor Alex Bissember)
UTAS Author:Fuller, RO (Dr Rebecca Fuller)
UTAS Author:Pullen, R (Mr Reyne Pullen)
ID Code:153470
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT200100049)
Deposited By:Chemistry
Deposited On:2022-09-17
Last Modified:2022-10-04
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