In Learning You Will Teach

This is my 2nd year using the Karty text for Organic Chemistry Lecture (CHEM 3111). Based on my experiences as a student and as an instructor, organic chemistry has been typically taught in a traditional format of a chalk talk and PowerPoint combination. However, after speaking with those instructors, such as Joel Karty and fellow … Continue reading In Learning You Will Teach

Teaching the Mechanism Means Testing the Mechanism

Exam questions are a primary medium by which students learn what their instructor values most in the course. If we evaluate what we value, questions should test the mechanism and thus emphasize conceptual understanding, utilize real applications, and require deep thinking. And for me, the most important reason to pose mechanistic questions is to see … Continue reading Teaching the Mechanism Means Testing the Mechanism

Spoiler Alert: Reading the Textbook Before Class Does a Student Good

For students to succeed in organic chemistry, they should begin the semester on the right foot and stay on the ball throughout the entire semester. A huge component of that involves coming prepared for class each day, having already read and processed material from the textbook that will be covered. When I began teaching 14 … Continue reading Spoiler Alert: Reading the Textbook Before Class Does a Student Good

Snow Day Strategies: How I Made-Up Lost Time

Elon University is located in central North Carolina and we don’t often have severe winter storms. In fact, in my previous 12 years at Elon, not once did we have a cancelled day of classes during our fall or spring semesters. This spring semester, however, four days of classes were lost to winter storms, three … Continue reading Snow Day Strategies: How I Made-Up Lost Time

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]