Student success in intensive versus traditional introductory chemistry courses : synthesis of salts of the weakly coordinating trisphat anion /

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Hall, Mildred
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Middle Tennessee State University
Part I. Intensive courses have been shown to be associated with equal or greater student success than traditional-length courses in a wide variety of disciplines and education levels. Student records from intensive and traditional-length introductory general chemistry courses were analyzed to determine the effects, of the course format, the level of academic experience, life experience (age), GPA, academic major and gender on student success in the course. Pretest scores, GPA and ACT composite scores were used as measures of academic ability and prior knowledge; t-tests comparing the means of these variables were used to establish that the populations were comparable prior to the course. Final exam scores, total course points and pretest-posttest differences were used as measures of student success; t-tests were used to determine if differences existed between the populations. ANCOVA analyses revealed that student GPA, pretest scores and course format were the only variables tested that were significant in accounting for the variance of the academic success measures. In general, the results indicate that students achieved greater academic success in the intensive-format course, regardless of the level of academic experience, life experience, academic major or gender.
Part II. Weakly coordinating anions have many important applications, one of which is to function as co-catalysts in the polymerization of olefins by zirconocene. The structure of tris(tetrachlorobenzenedialato) phosphate(V) or "trisphat" anion suggests that it might be an outstanding example of a weakly coordinating anion. Trisphat acid was synthesized and immediately used to prepare the stable tributylammonium trisphat, which was further reacted to produce trisphat salts of Group I metal cations in high yields. Results of the 35Cl NQR analysis of these trisphat salts indicate only very weak coordination between the metal cations and the chlorine atoms of the trisphat anion.
Adviser: Michael J. Sanger.