Chemistry 331 - Fall 1996

Elements of Organic Chemistry I

Portland State University - - Professor Carl C. Wamser

The "Day One" Class Overview

Course Objectives

What you should get out of this class:

know basic terminology for organic chemistry

recognize and name the major functional groups

write systematic names

draw accurate structures

correlate molecular structure with physical and chemical properties

categorize reactions by type

write reaction mechanisms

correlate energy changes with molecular structure changes

recognize the structures and functions of the main classes of biomolecules

Expectations for Students

In order to succeed in the course objectives,

you must participate:

attend class regularly

- if you miss, consult the class home pages and a fellow student

read the text and lecture notes before the corresponding class meeting

take an active part in the in-class activities

you must solve problems:

work through all the assigned homework

try additional textbook problems

- the Study Guide answers all text problems

- the home pages will answer problems I assign

make lists of concepts and problems you don't understand

- bring your list for our in-class activities

- if problems remain unresolved after that, e-mail them to our discussion list

you must use technology:

consult the class home pages

- new information will be added typically several times a week

use e-mail to communicate with the instructor and with fellow students

- some assignments will be distributed and returned by e-mail

- a class ListServer will collect questions, answers, and other discussion

Expectations for the Instructor

In order to help you succeed in the course objectives,

I will participate:

attend class regularly

coordinate in-class activities

- clarify and reinforce the concepts that you encounter in the text and in the lecture notes

I will provide appropriate resources:

(all available on the class home pages)

details of how the class works

lecture notes

homework assignments

sample exams from last year's class



suggestions and outside resources

I will give you feedback:

respond promptly to e-mail questions

promptly return quizzes and exams

provide regular assessment of your progress in the course

"How Am I Supposed to Know That?"

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.

Skills Objectives

The kinds of skills you will develop in this class include:

1. Knowledge

e.g., use appropriate terminology, identify functional group structures and names

2. Comprehension

e.g., draw 3-dimensional structures from various perspectives

3. Application

e.g., use nomenclature rules to develop systematic names for complex organic structures

4. Analysis

e.g., select the most appropriate reaction mechanism for a given situation

5. Synthesis

e.g., use a knowledge of many organic reactions to assemble a pathway that converts one molecule into another

6. Evaluation

e.g., assess the significance of recent developments on social or political issues (e.g., the approval of RU-486 or the effects of CFCs on the ozone layer)

The Six Cognitive Levels

The six numbered skills correspond to six cognitive levels that have been well-studied by psychologists.

1) Knowledge

2) Comprehension

3) Application

4) Analysis

5) Synthesis

6) Evaluation

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.

"Why Am I Supposed to Know That?"

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.

Why is organic chemistry important?

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.

Why are these skills important?

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.