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MERLOT II

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Peer Review


Animations of Organic Reactions

by Grigoriy Sereda
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.2 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4.1 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 29, 2006 by Chemistry Editorial Board
Overview: The website contains of animations of mechanisms for many of the fundamental
reactions covered in undergraduate organic chemistry.
Learning Goals: 1. To understand the major types of organic reactions
2. To understand the individual steps involved in each of the reactions
Target Student Population: College Organic Chemistry students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The site would be most useful to students who have already covered the
theoretical aspects of reaction mechanisms and basic organic chemistry concepts.
No specialized computer skills are needed to utilize the site.
Type of Material: A set of animations which can be viewed step-by-step or as a movie.
Recommended Uses: 1. May be used by the instructor in the classroom to present the main types of
organic reactions
2. May be used by students for individual or group study and review of the
detail steps for each type of reaction
Technical Requirements: Standard conputer platform

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The site has animations of a range of organic mechanisms covered in
undergraduate organic chemistry. The animations are well-designed and depict
individual steps in each reaction, that can be manipulated to go back and
forward to understand the processes.
Concerns: Some are the arrows are not in the correct positions and may be ambiguous or
even misleading to students who are not conversant with the material

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.1 stars
Strengths: 1. These animations have clarity and details that will facilitate learning
2. They can engage the learner and provide information in an interactive format
3. The animations can be run in a sequence, or they can be stepped through one
frame at a time forward or backwards for better understanding
4. The range of reactions covered in this site is good. In addition, the
mechanisms are for the most part clearly accurate.
Concerns: Similar material is available in textbooks and in their companion websites. It
is not interactive. The site would be useful to instructors wanting to
illustrate their lectures. However, there is no companion information to
depscribe the process making it difficult for students to decipher mechanism(s)
that they are having difficulties with. The site would benefit from interactive
exercises and from an outline of the reaction (reactant, reagent and product)
before the mechanism is presented.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: 1. Material has been presented in a very clear, systematic format.
2. Each reaction can be accessed from the main menu, with easy navigation and no
distracting design elements.
3. The design allows user to re-play, stop, start each animation as needed
without trapping the user or causing problems.
4. The software is robust and the site is in working order.
Concerns: It would benefit from having some introductory narrative to give the user an
idea of how to use the features within the animations: such as step-by-step or
letting the animation run through its sequence. The browser back button is used
to return to the main menu.

Other Issues and Comments: This is an good set of animations of organic chemistry reactions that can
be used in variety of learning environments