On Peer-Teaching

Learning as a teamTeaching others to help them understand has been something that I enjoy doing. I became an Organic Chemistry Workshop Leader during the Fall semester of my third year of university (August to December 2010). As a workshop leader, my responsibilities consisted of the following:

  • Facilitated a productive learning environment for students to communicate ideas to solve problems.
  • Provided on-hand guidance to students to enrich their learning of Organic Chemistry.
  • Provided additional information (i.e. study tips) beyond the core requirements.

Although these duties are similar to those of a tutor, the basic goal was to have the students come up with the solutions to the problems themselves instead of having me lecture. This process is based on the theory of Peer Led Team Learning, in which students who have previously done well in a specific course can become leaders to successfully guide fellow students through a difficult course and encourage personal growth and motivation. Continue reading

How to Conquer Organic Chemistry

Benzene and the founding scientist, Kekule

Organic Chemistry is known to be one of the most challenging college courses for second or third-year students. It is highly vital that you stay on top of the material and follow a routine consisting of the following tips:

1. PRACTICE for AT LEAST 2 hours a day!! This is very important because the more problems you do, the easier it will be to solve similar and harder problems. NEVER CRAM THE NIGHT BEFORE THE EXAM! Organic Chemistry is all about CONTINUOUS practice!

Some helpful study guides to help you build up fundamental skills:
As a Second Language: Organic Chemistry I: Translating the Basic Concepts
, David R. Klein, 2nd edition, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2008
Pushing Electrons: A Guide for Students of Organic Chemistry, Daniel P. Weeks, 3rd edition, Thomson Learning, Inc., 1998

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