Month: April 2013

Improvements on Retrosynthetic Analysis

Success in organic chemistry is heavily reliant on a student’s ability to identify patterns. Until recently, I organized my course by functional group. It was only after I adopted Joel Karty’s approach that I recognized that the variety of reactions used to synthesize each functional group can vary widely and that this variance makes it

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Building a Solid Foundation Gives the Student More Confidence

When I was in ninth grade, my family built a house. I remember my dad, who is an engineer, regularly checking on the progress and quality of the foundation. He knew that the foundation was the most important part of the house. Building a proper foundation took a lot of time, but it was important

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How Are Students Expected To Use A Textbook? [Video]

Students are encouraged to read their textbook before and after lecture, but do they? Elon professor Joel Karty discusses the pedagogical features in his new textbook–Display Text and Your Turn exercises–that have helped motivate his students to read, often weeks before lecture, and that he believes gives students more control over their own learning.

Why mechanisms? What does it mean to be mechanistically organized book? What advantages does a mechanistic organization offer? Watch Joel’s other videos to find out.

Reasoning By Analogy

For twelve years I’ve taught organic chemistry to a mixture of chemistry and biology students. I always begin Organic I by asking my students this same question: Why are you taking this class? Some students respond that the curriculum plan for their major or career requires the organic chemistry course sequence. For other students, organic

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