Computer applications are a large part of the resources available to undergraduates in the Chemistry Learning Center (CLC). These programs allow students to cover material at their own pace or perform difficult calculations.

The tutorials and demonstrations have assisted many students in the General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry courses. Students can cover material in a relaxed atmosphere that is conducive to learning. The largest advantage to the tutorials is that the tutorials have infinite patience and will repeat lessons until they are learned. The largest draw back is that they cover the material the same way every time. The tutors take up the slack here and can help students with these problems.

The general purpose applications like WordPerfect and Microsoft Excel allow students to complete complex tasks relatively easily. For some projects, if a student performed the task by hand, he or she would become bogged down in the calculations and lose sight of the goal. The computers can allow the student to complete the task more quickly and remained focused on the topic at hand. Projects that are developed to use these attributes of the applications help expand the topics that can be covered in a typical class and develop the student's understanding of computers.

General Chemistry Tutorials

Chemi-Skill-Bildr

This tutorial was written by Dr. James Spain at Clemson University. It covers almost all of the freshmen chemistry course. Topics covered include unit conversions, balancing redox reactions, and VSEPR theory. Chemi-Skill-Bildr provides a brief explanation of each topic that students can access before answering questions. Students are provided with two opportunities to correctly answer a question before an explanation of the solution is provided. Problems are randomly generated so that students can use the tutorial repeatedly and still never see the same question.

NovaNet Tutorials

This tutorial also covers the topics in the General Chemistry Courses but also includes some Organic Chemistry topics (this will be covered later). While the same material is being covered, the explanations have a slightly different twist so that a student that has found Chem-Skill- Bildr not to be helpful, may find this one beneficial.

VSEPRTutor

Intellimation
P.O. Box 1922
Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1922
800-346-8355

VSEPRTutor was written by C. Eugene Burchill at the University of Manitoba. This application is a hypercard stack that presents electronic and molecular geometries in a graphical method so that students can see structures more easily. The lecture includes an auxiliary program that allows students to rotate the structures to get a better feel for the geometries. Of course this tutorial is quite useful in the organic chemistry classes as well.

Organic Chemistry Tutorials

Organic Nomenclature Tutorial

Trinity Software
Order Dept C-71
P.O. Box 960
Campton, NH 03223
800-352-1282

The nomenclature tutorial is very useful to students in the first quarter organic courses. Students can work with the tutorial at there own pace and thoroughly learn the IUPAC rules. The tutorial carries students through a logical progression of structures that makes learning these rules simple. The best feature of the tutorial is that students must type the name of the compound and not simply select the correct answer from a list. The student is told what parts of an answer are correct and which are incorrect and what they might have done wrong.

Organic Reaction Mechanisms

Falcon Software
P.O. Box 200
Wentworth, NH 03282
603-764-5788

This demonstration program allows students to review some reaction mechanisms. Students can view active drawings to get a better feel for reactions than they do from the static drawings in a text. Students are able to take the mechanism that they see in the demonstration and apply them to a homework or lab assignment. This application is useful to the students, tutors, and professors in their endeavors to learn or teach reaction mechanisms.

StereoTutor

Intellimation
P.O. Box 1922
Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1922
800-346-8355

StereoTutor is another creation of C. Eugene Burchill. This is another hypercard stack that provides instruction in stereochemistry. Students receive instruction on chiral centers, absolute names, and chiral molecules which lack chiral centers.

Introduction to Spectroscopy

Trinity Software
Order Dept C-71
P.O. Box 960
Campton, NH 03223
800-352-1282

This tutorial covers the basics of IR, Mass Spec, NMR, and CMR. Students can access each of the different sections and receive information about instrumentation and interpretation. While the information is very simplified, the tutorial provides a good reference for the beginning student and allows professors to spend greater time with more advanced activities.

VSEPRTutor

This tutorial has been covered previously.

Other Chemistry Related Applications

Alchemy III

Tripos

Alchemy is a molecular Modeling package that allows students to draw organic structures. This program will be used in the undergraduate classes to introduce molecular modeling to the students.

GRAMS/386

Galactic Industries Corporation
395 Main Street
Salem, NH 03079
603-898-7600

GRAMS is an analytical chemistry package that can handle most any type of spectrum or chromatogram. This is an easy to use package that allows students to perform current analytical data manipulation techniques. Projects are currently under development which make full use of this package.