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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 14 Issue 6 (2009) pp 247-249

Commonly Used Painkillers: Chemistry and Mode of Action: Teaching with Problems and Case Studies

Brahmadeo Dewprashad*

Department of Science, BMCC, City University of New York, 199 Chambers Street, NY 10007,
Received January 26, 2009. Accepted July 10, 2009.

Published online: 31 December 2009

Abstract. Two versions of a case study were developed and used to engage undergraduate organic chemistry students. The cases are in the format of stories that students can relate to; they connect the concepts in the chemistry of carboxylic acids and their derivatives to biomedical applications. One version can be used to complement the laboratory exercise on the synthesis of aspirin; another version can be used in the classroom as a supplement to lectures. The cases also provide students with experience in conducting a literature search and assessing original research articles to determine if the scientific evidence supports a particular belief. In addition, the cases facilitate open discussions of the copying of labs/homework, ethics in the classroom, and the fact that a common student perception is that many of the organic laboratory and classroom exercises are often neither engaging nor relevant to their lives.

Key Words: In the Classroom; organic chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (24 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

The case study, its accompanying problems and solutions, group instructions, and instructorsí observations of group activities are available (251 KB)

Issue date: Dec 31, 2009

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