Organic Chemistry

An online exercise created for this organic chemistry course applies students' understanding of chemistry concepts to the laboratory procedure for recrystallization.

The Lab worked closely with Professor Kathleen Hess to create an online exercise to develop students' understanding of the processes occuring at the molecular level during a laboratory procedure. The exercise focused on the procedure for recrystallization, a technique commonly used to purify a contaminated compound. In the exercise, the procedure was interspersed with questions asking students to provide conceptual explanations for certain steps and possible outcomes. Students received feedback on their exercise responses and Professor Hess used these responses to identify concepts to review during her lecture.

Brief narrated animations created by Professor Hess and the Lab during the summer of 2015 provided a visual explanation of key concepts in the context of the laboratory procedure. These animations appeared as part of the feedback that students received on their exercise responses.

Screenshots from animations

Screenshots from animations intended to higlight processes occurring at the molecular level during the laboratory procedure.

Inside the Box

Online exercises can prepare students for in-class activities, help students gauge their own understanding, and highlight concepts for instructors to address during class. A successful learning exercise is low-stakes, interactive, provides immediate feedback, and carefully integrated with class meetings.


Who contributes?

  • Instructor
  • Teaching Assistant(s)
  • Instructional Designer(s)
  • Media Production Specialist(s)

What work is involved?

  • Identifying challenging concepts and learning goals
  • Planning and development of learning exercise structure and content
  • Planning and creating videos or animations
  • Collecting feedback from students and teaching assistants
  • Revising components based on feedback

How much time do you need?

two to six months

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