Challenges in teaching ”Colloid and Surface Chemistry” – A Danish Experience
Seven years ago we were asked, as one of our first teaching duties at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), to teach a 5 ECTS point course on “Colloid and Surface Chemistry”. The topic is itself at the same time exciting and demanding, largely due to its multidisciplinary nature. Several “local” requirements posed additional challenges. The course is part of the international program of the university, typically at the start of the M.Sc. studies (7th-8th semester) and can be followed by students of different M.Sc. programs (Advanced and Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Petroleum Engineering). B.Sc. students towards the end of their studies can also follow the course. Also due to the multidisciplinary nature of the course topic, a wide variety of industries in Denmark has shown interest in the course, which has led to a development of a separate industry course. In this article we report on our experience from the first years of teaching and how teaching methods and course material have been adapted in order to meet the aforementioned challenges, as well as feed back and course evaluation from students. First, we present the learning objectives of the course followed by a discussion of the teaching methods used over the years. The most challenging topics covered in our course are highlighted as well as a discussion of the textbooks employed. Supplementary initiatives e.g. link to a laboratory course are shortly presented followed by our assessment of the current status and some suggestions.