This is a comprehensive training site for organic students to use. Students are given NMR and IR spectra of unknowns and asked to determine the structure. There is a vast array of NMR and IR spectra as well as a search engine so that specific structures can be entered.
Type of Material:
These are interactive Java scripts and applets for drill and practice.
For homework assignments and training for sophomore and upperclassmen level organic chemistry students. Could also be used for proctored examinations in some settings.
JAVA enabled browsers are needed.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To train students to learn how to interpret NMR and IR spectra.
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate organic and biochemistry chemistry students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Concurrent organic chemistry is required.
Evaluation and Observation
This is an extraordinarily complete and detailed site dedicated to training students to be able to interpret IR and NMR spectra.
The description of the payout, organization, and resources available is well-documented. The IR spectra section includes a table of characteristic frequencies for specific bonds which is very helpful in identifying unknowns. There is a feature giving the user the opportunity to compare IR spectra of two compounds. All the compounds contain (1)H and (13)C NMR spectra information and some have additional information in the form of IR, DEPT and COSY spectra. Large set of problems in increasing order of difficulty presented. Also has clear and extensive introcutory text and explanations
The NMR integration intensities need to have numerical magnitudes attached to them, either by addition of an ordinate or a straight numerical value for each increment. The authors have selected the key structural peaks in the IR spectra. It would be better, in my opinion, to identify all the peaks or none of them. In an unknown analysis, the student doesn't have a convenient identifier pointing out the important peaks to use. Given the excellent IR section it is surprising that very few of the compounds have IR spectra information included
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This is an effective, well-organized tool for learning/teaching which can be used first as an introductory tool and then later as practice/drill. The narrative is clear and extensive, graphics are effective in presenting the psectra. It is versatile enough to be used in a variety of settings and context. The zoom feature works well and allows a good visual separation of close peaks. The search tool for specific compounds ahving functional groups is a good tool for a follow-up practice session
It might be useful to include mass spectra. It would be helpful if, upon asking for the solution to be presented, the key features regarding why that is the solution to the NMR and IR spectrum are summarized. The student otherwise is still left to work out the details given the structure. It should say for example: band at 3050 cm-1 indicates aromatic hydrocarbons, or single at ... 3.7 ppm indicates a methyl group since it has an ampltude of 3 and is at .... shift, typical of .....
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Once the user starts actually reading the page, the use of the site and its various features are apparent. The site loads quickly, and the interaction with the spectra is somewhat intuitive.
The software is easy to enter and exit from and the user-interface is excellent
and therefore effective. The user is not likely to get trapped or get diverted while navigating through the module. The zoom feature is excellent and works well. The IR table included is convenient and similar tables for NMR spectra would have been uesful. It is well-planned and presented
On the NMR spectra it would be nice to be able to double click on the miniature spectrum in the top right hand corner to display the different enlargements. Having to zoom in and out is a little bit inconvenient. The same holds true for the IR spectrum. The interface is slightly different in the IR spectrum compared with the NMR spectrum. Both should resemble the NMR spectrum in terms of look and feel with the above suggested improvements.
Other Issues and Comments:
This is a first rate training site for teaching students how to interpret NMR and IR spectra through practice with a good, simple workable user interface and very good introductory material in the narrative