P496: Towards reforming the organic chemistry course using evidence-based interactive learning methods

Author: Hovig Kouyoumdjian, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author: Melanie Cooper, Michigan State University, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 11:10 AM11:30 AM

Room: MAK B1110

Related Symposium: S44

Organic chemistry is considered one of the most challenging courses in the science curriculum, and it is a required course for a broad spectrum of disciplines, however it is taught in a conventional way. Challenges can be due to the complexity of the material and/or lack of engaging /interactive teaching methods. For instance, it is well established that using models in organic chemistry class engages students, and enhances their comprehension of the material. Hence, developing interactive methods and tools can prove to be important. This teaching-as-research project is an effort toward reforming the organic chemistry course at Michigan State University. We demonstrate that, compared to a traditional organic chemistry course, active-learning methods like BeSocraticâ„¢ (NSF-funded free-form interactive system), i>clickers, wireless tablet-based PowerPoint lectures and digital visualisers, can enhance the learning gains of students by a significant margin, even with a large class set up (>300 students).