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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 8 Issue 6 (2003) pp 346-351

Using Collaborative Cases in Organic Chemistry

Linda C. Hodges* and Lilia C. Harvey

McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 and Lilia C. Harvey, Department of Chemistry, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA 30030,
Received February 26, 2003. Accepted July 18, 2003

Published online: 7 October 2003

Abstract. This paper describes our use of cases as part of a collaborative learning approach in an organic chemistry two-semester sequence. Our goal is to focus class time on engaging students in processing and applying concepts rather than on primarily exposing students to content. The phrase collaborative cases is used to indicate the hybrid nature of this approach compared to directed case studies and typical problem-based learning formats. We discuss the features of a case that seem to enhance student conceptual understanding and the value of these cases in promoting studentsí recognition of organic chemistry in the public domain. This format may be used in both small class settings or as part of the recitation or discussion sections often associated with large lecture classes.

Key Words:  In the Classroom; organic chemistry; case studies; collaborative/cooperative learning; problem-based learning

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: December 1, 2003

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