Using structure-based organic chemistry online tutorials with automated correction for student practice and review

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O'Sullivan, Timothy P.
Hargaden, Gráinne C.
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American Chemical Society
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This article describes the development and implementation of an open-access organic chemistry question bank for online tutorials and assessments at University College Cork and Dublin Institute of Technology. SOCOT (structure-based organic chemistry online tutorials) may be used to supplement traditional small-group tutorials, thereby allowing students to develop essential problem-solving skills in organic chemistry. This online approach may be used for both formative and summative assessment. Students complete one problem set weekly or fortnightly, which consists of a number of questions of varying difficulty. A wide range of question types is possible; for example, prediction of reaction products, identification of reaction intermediates or reagents, and retrosynthetic analyses. Questions involving stereochemistry may be also be incorporated. The implementation is described, along with several sample questions and advice for creating questions. This approach is suitable for all levels of undergraduates, from introductory nonmajors to final-year chemistry students. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and in particular, students found SOCOT to be a quite useful tool for review purposes. Our approach uses MarvinSketch, which is free for academic purposes, and the SMILES algorithm, which converts chemical structures into a text string and is compatible with any learning management system.
First-year undergraduate/general , Upper-division undergraduate , Organic chemistry , Internet-based Learning , Web-based Learning , Reactions , Synthesis , Mechanisms of reactions
O'SULLIVAN, T. P. & HARGADEN, G. C. 2014. Using Structure-Based Organic Chemistry Online Tutorials with Automated Correction for Student Practice and Review. Journal of Chemical Education, 91, 1851-1854.
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© 2014 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc. This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in the Journal of Chemical Education, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see