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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 15 (2010) pp 285-289

Students’ Understanding of Electronic Effects in an Introductory Organic Chemistry Course

Veljko Dragojlovic

Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University, 5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter, FL 33458, USA, vdragojl@fau.edu
Received February 17, 2010. Accepted April 9, 2010.

Published: 31 July 2010

Abstract. As students in an introductory organic chemistry course need to master a vast amount of complex material their success depends to a large extent on their ability to generalize. In a typical organic chemistry course a considerable amount of time is devoted to study of role of electronic effects in an electrophilic aromatic substitution. Therefore, it is not surprising that most students acquire a good command of that subject. However, some students learn it “too well” and assume that the same effects operate when a reactant contains an aromatic structure regardless of the reactivity center and the reaction mechanism. A sequence of three laboratory exercises involving electrophilic aromatic substitution, nucleophilic carbonyl addition and nucleophilic carbonyl substitution along with classroom exercises has been designed to address students’ misconceptions.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; physical chemistry; ligand substitution reaction; spectroscopy; math modeling; micro-computer-based lab; Ni-PADA complex; EXCEL and SOLVER add-in

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: vdragojl@fau.edu)

Article in PDF format (53 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

(1) Answer to manuscript exercises, (2) Additional exercises with answers, (3) In-class quiz, (4) Experimental procedures, (5) Instructions for the instructor, and (6) Students’ results including GC-MS of the products of electrophilic aromatic substitution are available (601 KB).



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