Why a Mechanistic Organization Improves Understanding in Large Lectures

One of my favorite TV commercials is the AT&T, “Bigger is Better, It’s Not that Complicated” ad that features unscripted responses of elementary school children about why faster, bigger, larger, etc. is better.  Unlike cell coverage, bigger lecture size is not necessarily better. Over the years, I have done a number of things to make … Continue reading Why a Mechanistic Organization Improves Understanding in Large Lectures

A Mechanistic Organization and Learning Synthesis: Having Cake and Eating It, Too

When I began teaching organic chemistry over twelve years ago, I adopted a traditional textbook organized according to functional group. The concept of organic synthesis was introduced in a short section in Chapter 4, as was retrosynthetic analysis. The intention, I think, was good: with these aspects of synthesis introduced early, students would incorporate new … Continue reading A Mechanistic Organization and Learning Synthesis: Having Cake and Eating It, Too