FIVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE OF TEACHING INNOVATION IN THE SUBJECTS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY AND MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY, USING SCIFINDER AS A DIDACTIC COMPLEMENT
At the University of Granada (UGR), Vice-Rector's Office for the Guarantee of the Quality finances several actions to promote teaching innovation. Within the period 2010-2015 we have applied three projects of educational innovation.
Traditionally the subjects of Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry have high rates of failures and abandonment at the beginning of the course. Motivation is an important aspect for the student´s output that is usually correlated with a high rate of success. These projects got to reduce the university failure in these areas.
A web application called SciFinder was chosen as a teaching resource. It is an essential tool in advanced research carried out in the laboratory of chemical synthesis. This computer application allows us to find information about organic compounds, reactions, scientific journals and patents. Using this application the students are transported to a virtual laboratory making easier to understand the basic scientific knowledge that has been previously explained in class.
The first of these projects (Cruz-Lopez et al., 2010) was applied to the subject of Organic Chemistry of the Bachelor`s Degree in Pharmacy. The good results obtained from this project encouraged us to extend it to the Organic Chemistry II subject of the new academic curriculum of the Degree in Pharmacy (Cruz-Lopez et al., 2011). In both projects, students put it into practice in the laboratory previously learned concept by the use of SciFinder. The experience was highly appreciated by the students, but the lack of space in the laboratory and teaching staff limited the number of participants. The last project (Cruz-Lopez, 2013) was applied to the rest of the subjects of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Organic Chemistry of the UGR, Organic Chemistry I, Organic Chemistry II, Medicinal Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry II of the Degree of Pharmacy. However, the practical part of the program at the laboratory was not carried out in order to extend the project to a larger number of students.
The projects had in common the following steps:
1) The teacher explained how the application works.
2) The students were proposed to carry out a series of works related to the topics that had been explained in the teaching classes and are based in the different ways of search that this web application allows.
3) The students formed groups to expose the performed activities indicating the steps to solve each one.
In all cases an increase in motivation regarding the subject studied and an approach to the research career was achieved. Considering the above, we believe that these projects have accomplished the initial objectives and very satisfactory results have been obtained.