Surprising Advances for Students at All Levels

When I first perused the Preliminary Edition of Joel Karty’s textbook, I was apprehensive about the organization and whether students would really benefit from this change. Midway through the first semester it became clear to me that a mechanistically organized course creates a broad-based platform that gets to the heart of what we are trying … Continue reading Surprising Advances for Students at All Levels

Taking Students Beyond the Limitations of a Functional Group Organization

I’ve written earlier about the advantages of the chapter on elementary steps and how students’ benefits from a mechanistic organization surfaced in the second semester course. In this post, I’d like to offer an example of how this approach allows students to solve problems that I once considered too “advanced” for typical organic students. A functional … Continue reading Taking Students Beyond the Limitations of a Functional Group Organization

Three Lessons from Student Exams

The advantages of Joel’s approach surfaced in the second semester of the first year I taught a mechanistically organized course while using Joel’s manuscript instead of a traditional textbook. Student experience on exams demonstrated to me three points: I had unwittingly expected students to memorize organic chemistry instead of think mechanistically; the focus on mechanisms … Continue reading Three Lessons from Student Exams

Other Benefits to Mechanistic Organization [Video]

Elon professor Joel Karty discusses how he believes a mechanistic organization allows him to have increased expectations about student involvement in lecture. Prof. Karty talks about his use of clicker questions within lecture, and how his mechanistic organization allows him to present questions that test students' emergent thinking. Why mechanisms? What does it mean to … Continue reading Other Benefits to Mechanistic Organization [Video]