Organic Chemistry I
"Day One" Lecture
Professor Carl C. Wamser
Goals and Expectations
In order to succeed in the course objectives,
* * you must participate:
* * you must solve problems:
* * you must use technology:
In order to help you succeed in the course objectives,
* * I will participate:
* * I will provide appropriate resources:
(all available on the class home pages)
* * I will give you feedback:
This is a common question students have when confronted with new material.
The answer depends on what is being asked of you and what skills are called for to work out an appropriate response.
Success in organic chemistry is considered an important indicator by medical schools because organic chemistry is often the student's first contact with a large body of interrelated knowledge and concepts that CANNOT be mastered by sheer memorization.
The kinds of skills you will develop in this class include:
e.g., use appropriate terminology, identify functional group structures and names
e.g., draw 3-dimensional structures from various perspectives
e.g., use nomenclature rules to develop systematic names for complex organic structures
e.g., select the most appropriate reaction mechanism for a given situation
e.g., use a knowledge of many organic reactions to assemble a pathway that converts one molecule into another
e.g., assess the significance of recent developments on social or political issues
The Six Cognitive Levels
The six numbered skills correspond to six cognitive levels that have been well-studied by psychologists.
Using Your Cognitive Levels
One goal of a university education is to improve your intellectual skills at all of these levels.
Simply recognizing what level of skill is required for a good answer to a particular question often gets you a long way towards that good answer.
Select the right level of skill
Can you memorize your way through organic chemistry?
- Can you rely solely on a level 1 skill for everything you need?
When using nomenclature rules, criticizing the nomenclature system (even though it's a higher level skill) does not address your ability to apply rules accurately.
Success in any class depends substantially on your motivation to succeed.
You should spend some time to address what you would like to get out of this class.
- " . . . at least a B so I can get into XYZ program . . ."
- An oversimplified answer like this may prevent you from properly addressing all the skills that you could (and should) obtain from this course.
Organic chemistry is the chemistry of life
Since most of you are planning to enter one of the health professions, you should find the material relevant to understanding the way that biological systems operate.
This relevance should become increasingly apparent as the year progresses and we develop the tools to study increasingly complex molecules.
In whatever career you aim for, you will find that highly valued traits include well-developed intellectual skills at all levels.
Even more valuable is the ability to continue your development of skills on your own.