P123: Enhancing students’ understanding in organic chemistry [WITHDRAWN]

Author: Gomathi Shridhar, V.K.Krishna Menon College of Commerce and S.S.Dighe College of Science, India

Co-Author: Lakshmy Ravishankar, V.G.Vaze College of Arts, Science and Commerce, India; Savita Ladage, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, India

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 11:50 AM12:10 PM

Room: LMH 176

Related Symposium: S3

Many students fear organic chemistry; as a consequence they lack confidence to solve problems. Often at undergraduate level at University of Mumbai, the assessment of students in organic chemistry involves testing them using descriptive and/or memory recall questions. As a result, students are often weak with conceptual understanding in organic chemistry. Due to the perception that majoring in organic chemistry at postgraduate level will fetch jobs in chemical industries, the proportion of students opting for organic chemistry at post graduate level is comparatively large. However, poor conceptual understanding often poses problems to students, especially while facing interviews at a research institute or a chemical industry. To enhance students’ understanding in organic chemistry, we have initiated a series of problem solving workshops, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level for the last three years. The problem solving workshop mode was adopted to actively engage students in content discussions and communications. The workshops are being held twice in an academic year. Various core topics such as stereochemistry, spectroscopy, mechanisms of organic reactions and functional group transformations are discussed in these workshops. A typical workshop is held for a period of 3-5 days, and the number of participants ranges from 40 – 60 from different colleges affiliated to University of Mumbai. The workshop involves open discussion of main concepts followed by in-depth problem solving sessions in groups. The current study will discuss content, students’ conceptual difficulties, and their feedback towards these workshops.