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Wednesday, June 18 • 2:30pm - 3:20pm
CON2.03 – A Bilingual, Online, Interactive, Learning Tool for Organic Chemistry (Room A232)

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Fundamental to a student’s understanding of organic chemistry is the ability to interpret and use its language, including molecules’ names and other key terms. Since there is an infinite number of molecules possible, molecules are named using an internationally recognized nomenclature system. Students must master three key nomenclature learning objectives to be successful in chemistry: (i) identify key parts (functional groups) of a molecule, (ii) name a molecule, given its structure, and (iii) draw a molecule, given its name. In a chemistry course in higher education, a discussion about a given reaction cannot take place if the participants in that discussion are not able, at a minimum, to identify the functional group in question. Unfortunately, students often struggle to do so (Loeffler, 1989); thus, there is a learning gap.

While there are many resources that describe the rules for naming molecules, there is a paucity of resources available to actively practice naming molecules and receive feedback; many of these resources are of low quality, especially in French. Furthermore, students often do not see the real-life applications of the molecules they are naming.

To respond to this learning gap, the lack of quality resources and link to real-life applications, our team developed a free, interactive, online, bilingual learning tool that draws from a question bank of approximately 1000 molecules on which students will (i) identify key parts (functional groups) of a molecule, (ii) name a molecule, given its structure, and (iii) draw a molecule, given its name. This online learning tool is student-driven; it allows students to tailor their learning to their needs by customizing nomenclature quizzes and provides immediate feedback.

In this session, we will describe why and how we created this tool. We will also describe the roles of our team members that included an instructional designer, chemistry professor, multimedia programmer, assistant production designer, web designer, and chemistry student, which we hope will be helpful to others embarking on such a project. Participants will work with the learning tool and discuss ways to adapt such a system for their own purposes (e.g., to address student learning difficulties by through a student-driven resource). Please bring a device (laptop or tablet) if you can!  We will have a few available as well.

Wednesday June 18, 2014 2:30pm - 3:20pm
A232 McArthur Hall

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