University of Burgos (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 4366-4370
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The difficulty in learning organic chemistry explains the large number of suggestions made for improving its teaching. Many times the problem is focused in the way organic synthesis is taught. Questions such as “How can I choose the best strategy for organic synthesis?” or “How can a reaction in organic chemistry be explained or predicted?” are chosen to solve the problem [1]. But many times the problem is on the very basics, and the questions should be “What are the features of the organic compounds?”, “What is their charge distribution?” or “What is their most stable conformation?”. Knowing the answer to these latter questions, it would be easier to answer the former ones. A deep understanding of organic compounds is as important for an organic chemist as a deep understanding of construction materials for an architect or an engineer.

With these questions in mind we think that the traditional way of teaching organic chemistry in the introductory courses could be enhanced by the use of chemistry software. To this end, we propose the use of GaussView® [2]. Although this software has been developed as a graphical interface for Gaussian® [2], it is an attractive option for teaching chemistry because it is easy to use and very intuitive. Besides, the students will be able to profit from their knowledge of this program in more advanced courses to prepare input files for Gaussian runs.

[1] D.L. Lafarge, L.M. Morge, M.M. Méheut, J. Chem. Chem. Educ. 91, 173 (2014).