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Learning Strategies for Organic Chemistry (CHM 2210)

This semester, the Center for Academic Success (CfAS) is offering a program called “Learning Strategies for Organic Chemistry”. These workshops have been recently restructured not only to more closely follow the class syllabus, but also keeping in mind current research that discusses student struggles in organic chemistry. Specific skills are necessary to be a successful student in chemistry. Learning how to visualize concepts in 3-D, paying close attention to detail, and knowing how to break words apart are just a few examples of how studying for organic chemistry is unique.

This program is facilitated by tutors who have been very successful in organic chemistry and are former students of FIU organic chemistry faculty. They have experienced the same frustrations as many organic chemistry students and are excited about sharing the learning strategies they have identified as most successful for the course.

The center will be eliciting feedback from you as students to refine the program to suit your needs as learners and the faculty’s needs as educators.

  • Workshop Expectations
    1. Be prepared. Bring your general chemistry textbook, syllabus, and any pertinent materials related to your class. Any forms of research material are extremely helpful.
    2. Be on time. Sessions are one hour in length. While workshops consist of 10-15 students, our tutors need all of this time in order to provide each participant with the necessary attention and detail to his/her progress.
    3. Be consistent. Your professor may provide an extra credit incentive. In order to receive the possible extra credit, be consistent in your session attendance. If you miss the first week or two consecutive weeks later in the semester without notifying your tutor, your spot in the session will be reopened to other students.
    4. Be receptive. You will receive a variety of strategies, organizers, handouts, and study rubrics throughout the sessions. Keep these in your ‘metacognitive bank’ and ask your tutor questions.
    5. Be responsible. Once you register for a workshop at the Center for Academic Success (CfAS), you are reserving a place that no other student can take. Be considerate of these workshops. Keep your Panther ID handy when you arrive to the center. You must enter your information at the front area of our center, and make sure that your tutor records your attendance. At the end of the semester these records will be submitted to your professor.
  • Workshop Syllabus

    Please note that the Workshop Syllabus is subject to change. 

    Session 1:Crash Course

    This workshop covers background knowledge organic chemistry I students need including Lewis structures, resonance structures, and acid-base chemistry. By the end of this session, students should be able to assemble Lewis structures and incorporate acid-base concepts.

    Session 2:Stereochemistry Review

    Understanding different visual representations of molecules in organic chemistry is one of the most fundamental skills required in order to understand concepts related to stability and limitations in chemical reactions. This workshop will cover classifications of different isomers and the identification of stereogenic centers and chiral molecules. Additionally, different models that students will encounter throughout organic chemistry will be addressed.

    Session 3:Study Hall

    Bring your study materials to prepare for your upcoming exams! Or bring your first exam to review the difficult problems!

     

    Session 4:Nucleophiles, Electrophiles, Arrows, and Leaving Groups

    In this session students will learn how nucleophiles, electrophiles, arrow pushing, and leaving groups are all integral to a chemical reaction. This session will address the differences between nucleophiles and electrophiles, reinforce the importance of arrow pushing, and review how to identify a good leaving group.

    Session 5:The Big 4

    Almost every mechanism in Organic Chemistry is built from four basic mechanisms: Substitution (Sn) 1 and 2, and Elimination (E) 1 and 2. This session focuses on what conditions are required, how they happen, and, most importantly, how to decide which to do in a given problem. This will ensure a strong foundation in mechanisms throughout the rest of the semester.

    Session 6:Stereochemistry & Regiochemistry: An overview of select alkene reactions

    The purpose of this workshop is to focus on alkene reactions through an analysis of the reactions' regiochemistry and stereochemistry. The properties of each distinct reaction will be validated through a discussion of the mechanisms. Students will focus on pattern recognition and similarities amongst various alkene reactions. These concepts will be reinforced through chart organization and practice problems.

    Session 7:Study Hall 

    Bring your study materials to prepare for your upcoming exams! Or bring your second exam to review the difficult problems

    Sessions 8:Stereochemistry & Regiochemistry continued…

    The purpose of this workshop is to focus on alkene reactions through an analysis of the reactions' regiochemistry and stereochemistry. The properties of each distinct reaction will be validated through a discussion of the mechanisms. Students will focus on pattern recognition and similarities amongst various alkene reactions. These concepts will be reinforced through chart organization and practice problems.

    Session 9:Radical Reaction

    Radical reactions form intermediates known as radicals, which vary in stability. This session goes over three main topics: the different products from the radical mechanism, a review on radical stability, and the mechanisms for the different reactions. Emphasis is placed on identifying patterns in radical mechanisms as a learning strategy to enhance students’ understanding and focus as they relate to the key features of the different reactions.

    Session 10:Alcohol and Hangovers

    This session explores the chemistry of alcoholic beverages and the hangover. Students will then review the reactions that are most common for converting alcohol groups into different functional groups.

    Sessions 11, 12, & 13:Study Hall

    Bring your materials to prepare for your upcoming exams!

Register

On the registration page, select the topic(s) that interest you. Then enter all the fields of requested information.