Best in eLearning 2012-13 – Chemistry

Title: CHEM20412 Structure and reactivity of organic molecules
Tutor: Tim Wallace

1. Course Overview

CHEM20412 is a second year chemistry course unit focusing on the “Structure and reactivity of organic molecules”. This unit currently has 198 enrolments and received 18 nominations.

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2. Comments from Students

Student 1
To help with my learning there were online test after each lecture. These were helpful as they supported and helped me to evaluate the material covered in that lecture. It also helped to point out areas that I struggle with so I can look back over these areas. U found these online test and the feedback provided by Tim Wallace extremely helpful.

Student 2
The main part of this would be the provision of quizzes to support the lecture material: more material than is strictly necessary has been provided to help the learning and understanding of the material. These can be found on blackboard, and are limited to 3 attempts per quiz, with full feedback and marking provided at the end. Around April, the count will be reset (or earlier if you email Tim and ask him to reset it) so it is there to aid revision too. Further, there is a thorough set of answers and explanations to tutorials provided, further enhanced by the material in his pre-prepared booklet, also found on blackboard.

Student 3
In the stereochemistry module of this course, there were online quizzes which accompanied each lecture so that we could reconsolidate what we had learned in the lecture and make sure we understood what we learned. If there were any thing I did not understand, feedback was available on the questions I got wrong so I could target revision on the parts which I need to improve.

Student 4
The tutor gave online quizzes to assess our knowledge of the subject. These quizzes contained instant feedback which allowed me to understand where I went wrong. These quizzes can be found under Week 1-4 (TWW). These quizzes have helped me understand the topics better by giving me practice at questions with instant feedback on wrong answers and how to get the right answer

Student 5
My tutor provided online quizzes after every lecture to stimulate understanding. This makes it easier to understand as to how we are supposed to apply the theory learnt and the to how much extent additional knowledge is required.

Student 6
Dr Tim Wallace provided excellent course notes for the bit of the topic he was doing. His booklet has been found priceless when it has come to revision. He also provided many online tests which helped my learning greatly. Furthermore, the lectures he did were inspiring, engaging and very interesting.

Student 7
Great online quizzes. Very well formatted and accessible notes. Provided opportunities to practice the material via a number of different formats.

Student 8
Numerous online quizes that helped me learn every thing i need to know about his i never fill out these survey things but dr tim did do a good job in putting it all together and the acctual booklet handout is great i wish all lecturers did it like this

Student 9
Put several quizzes on Blackboard to assist with the learning lecture material, with worked answers. Also included extensive notes on his part of the course.

Student 10
Really good quizzes after each lecture reinforced teaching material. Also made available during revision times which is very helpful. Feedback after each quiz.can be found at

Student 11
The online interactive quizzes provided brilliant practise of stereochemistry. They gave you the opportunity to repeat them and reiterate what you had learnt.

Student 12
The online tests are very good, would be better if allowed infinite amount of attempts. Also, if lecture notes were put online as pdfs. Otherwise very good

Student 13
The quizzes available on blackboard allowed me to regularly test my knowledge and therefore monitor my progress throughout the semester. The feedback upon submission of these quizzes allowed me to notice any regular mistakes I was making.  Material online was often presented differently to how it was in lectures. This meant there was a good chance of confusing concepts covered in lectures bring explained in more detail online.

Student 14
Numerous online quizes that helped me learn every thing i need to know about his i never fill out these survey things but dr tim did do a good job in putting it all together and the acctual booklet handout is great i wish all lecturers did it like this

Student 15
There were online quizzes that gave feedback, but above all the online notes provided were textbook worthy and very descriptive.

Student 16
An online assessment was made available after each lecture, which help me to evaluate my understanding and knowledge of the material regularly. The quizzes gave instantaneous feedback on performance and stimulated me to do extra reading around areas of weakness. It generally meant that students kept up to date with the course material. There was also an e-learning page that presented a logical and clear key points from the lecture notes.

Student 17
Posts online quizzes after every lecture for me to test my understanding of the lecture, also goes into more depth than the lecture does directing my further reading. I have never known any other lecturer to do this in as much detail as Dr Wallace and am extremely thankful for it.

Student 18
Online 3D modelling, easy to access lectures and quizzes.Very nice way of providing lecture notes, as a website rather than a powerpoint .pdfIt is all found on blackboard, accesible on any computer.A very interesting course that is easy to understand through his e-learning resources.3. Comments from Dr. Tim Wallace

3. Comments from Dr Tim Wallace

Stereochemistry is an intensely visual subject, bridging the aesthetics and the function of molecular form, and revealing some remarkable connections along the way, e.g. the role of the tetrahedron in mechanisms of drug action.  After 130 years in the mainstream of organic chemistry, this topic still retains as its lingua franca a type of shorthand ‘map’ of a molecule showing only its atomic skeleton in 2D.  The viewer must rapidly assess this map and draw conclusions about the 3D properties of the molecule.  The role of CHEM20412 is to empower this analytical process.

The primary student support is a printed course booklet (B&W, 63 pages plus 20 pages of exercises and appendices).  The Blackboard site has a full-colour version of the booklet, with interactive Jmol applets of 3D models and weblinks to primary journals.  The crucial online element is a series of multiple-choice quizzes (02–05, 07 and 08), which support the corresponding lectures.  The quizzes draw from a bank of over 230 questions and incorporate more than 100 interactive Jmol applets.  Students are asked to identify the spatial arrangement of atoms (02) and the sense of helicity (03) in various molecules.  These budding powers of analysis are then challenged with paired structures (04), presented side-by-side in 3D, with the fundamental requirement to compare and characterise.  The intention is that this becomes the natural response to an unfamiliar structure.  Later quizzes challenge the student’s understanding of molecular topology (05), stereochemical calculations (07) and predicting the 3D outcome of reactions (08).

Best in eLearning 2012-13 – Chemistry

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