Discouraging Memorization in Organic Chemistry: Tools and Techniques

Mar 1 2:00 am


Presenter: Dr. Paula Bruice, University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Paula Bruice has experimented in how to best organize the organic chemistry course in order to foster understanding rather than memorizing, as well as develop problem-solving skills, while still finding the time to teach the material students are expected to know for the new MCAT. Dr. Bruice has spent many years teaching the only section of the year-long organic chemistry course at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Because she did not have to turn students over to other faculty or inherit students from other faculty, she had the opportunity to experiment with the structure of the course. The structure that eventually emerged resulted in her students telling her that they had to spend relatively little time reviewing organic chemistry for the MCAT or DAT because their knowledge of organic chemistry had stayed with them.