Chem 334 - Fall 1999
Organic Chemistry I

Dr. Carl C. Wamser

What Works? - An Extra Credit E-Mail Assignment
(Results Summarized Below)

Please consider the following questions and send your responses by e-mail directly to Dr. Wamser ( ) before 5:00 pm this Friday, October 29.

For thoughtful responses received before the deadline, you will get 2 points extra credit (like another e-mail molecule). Remember to indicate your name on your e-mail.

Best of all, we'll share the benefit of your collective wisdom about how to deal with organic chemistry. I'll summarize the responses for the Monday class.

1. How have you been spending your time on this class (outside of our scheduled in-class time)? Indicate the main ways that you study or prepare.

2. What do you feel works well for you in learning organic chemistry (including both in-class and out-of-class activities)?

3. What are some things that seem to be ineffective and we should do less of?

4. Any other comments about the class at this point would be welcome.

What works in learning organic chemistry?

Practice - Work lots of different problems (78)
Prepare - Read the text - before class (64)
Collaborate - Work with study groups (39) , Participate in the workshops (28)
Visualize - Work with the model kits (37)

Use the class resources:
Web site (35)
Old quizzes and exams (34)
ConcepTests (34)
Frequent quizzes are helpful (28)*
- BUT pre-quizzes too early (12)/tricky (3)
- BUT not enough time for quizzes & exams (11)
Chem TV / animations (23)
Lecture coverage (17)
- BUT spend less time on stuff on the web (14)
- BUT spend more problem-solving (10)
Prof. accessibility/e-mails/reviews (14)
OCHEM-L list (6)
- BUT responses sometimes confusing/wrong (2)

Use other resources:
Write out notes (22)
Refer to other textbooks (15)
Make flash cards (8)
Use other Internet sources (5)
Merck Index
Store of Knowledge videotapes

Advice to instructor:
less time on class mechanics
more time for exams
- exams will start at 9:00 promptly
pre-quiz questions too hard/tricky
- allow group pre-quiz answers
- pre-test the questions
handing back exams should be quicker
more problem-solving in class
more relevant connections/stories
make more problems available
- reserve library, prior years' web sites, other sites
fix the dark projection screens

Advice to other students:
don't get behind / don't cram
don't be totally reliant on models for 3D
don't spend too much time on one topic

Unresolved big issues:
How to deal with the frustrations of
o the huge amount of material/time limitations
"resources are impressive but overwhelming"
prioritize, develop efficient strategies
o not performing well on an exam
identify what went wrong
learn from the mistakes