M.V. Gil1, M.J. Arévalo1, N. Araujo1, O. Lopez2

1University of Extremadura, Departament of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry (SPAIN)
2University of Seville, Faculty of Chemistry (SPAIN)
Organic Chemistry is a discipline especially important in the explanation of transformations in Nature and in the human development looking for welfare. However learning Organic Chemistry is often a nightmare for students probably due to the abstract character of concepts belonging to this science (1).

Research addressed to diagnose the problems presented by students to learn Organic Chemistry has shown difficulties in learning the concepts and application of Organic Chemistry nomenclature. Due to this fact students try to memorize unclear rules that they are not able to apply in problem resolutions (2). Gaining proficiency in naming and writing formulas for organic compounds is largely a matter of practice, once one is familiar with the rules (3).

Our proposal to enable learning of nomenclature of organic compounds involves using the Virtual Classroom, currently available in all the High Education centres; in such Virtual Classroom Moodle´s platform (4) is used, known as LMS (Learning Management System) or as VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). It is very popular worldwide among the teaching community as a tool for creating online dynamic web pages.

In this sense, such platform offers a series of tools that enable lecturers to succeed in motivating the students; among them, it is remarkable the possibility of answering questionnaires, and depending on the prefixed configuration, the student might or might not check the right answer or have a feedback in the answers or get the qualification.

Hence, nomenclature and formulation of organic compounds can be carried out by using the questionnaire tool under a few modalities. The first option is to work with “multiple choice”, where the student will be given an organic structure in order to choose, among the multiple options the correct name. Moreover, it can also be attractive to work under the “pairing” modality, where the student would have to combine the organic structure with the correct name among the ones that appear in the test. In both cases, the virtual platform will automatically correct the answers and qualify the tests.

Additionally, and with the aim of the student being familiarized with direct and inverse formulation, we will use the item “task” which will provide a chemical name, and the student will have to upload a file with the correct structure; our intention is thus to achieve a familiarization of the student with the most widely used programs for drawing formulas (ChemDraw). In this case, it will be the lecturer’s task to correct and qualify the activity.

This methodology will allow to carry out the study of the formulation for different functional groups, that will be incorporated along the course. Once all the functional groups have been studied, the student should solve the tests by answering to combined nomenclature exercises of all the functional groups.


(1) Furió, C. y Vilches, A. (1997). Las actitudes del alumnado hacia las ciencias y las relaciones ciencia, tecnología y sociedad. Barcelona:Horsori.
(2) Patricia Valero Alemán, Freddy Mayora. Sapiens, Vol. 10, Núm. 1, 2009, pp. 109-135.
(3) Cassen, T. J. Chem. Ed. 1981,58, 49.
(4) Dougiamas, M. and Taylor, P.C. (2002) Interpretive analysis of an internet-based course constructed using a new courseware tool called Moodle. Proceedings of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) 2002 Conference, Perth, Western Australia.