More than emphasizing mechanisms
By organizing his book by mechanism, rather than just emphasizing mechanisms, Joel Karty has solved the problem of memorization. Karty’s approach allows students to focus more on reaction mechanisms within each chapter because, once students are introduced to a particular reaction type, they get to apply those mechanisms across various functional groups. As students begin to see the mechanistic patterns that unfold in one chapter, they will develop a better toolbox of mechanisms to draw upon in subsequent chapters. Students will therefore be better able to predict what will happen and why.
Provides a review of general chemistry topics
For students to succeed in Organic Chemistry, they need a solid foundation in General Chemistry. Chapters 1-6 provide extended coverage of the topics students will need to understand--such as acids/bases and structure. Instructors can cover as much or as little as they want, knowing that students have the book as a reference.
An efficient and effective way to learn and study nomenclature
Nomenclature is presented in four separate units, interspersed between chapters in the first half of the book. These units are self-contained so instructors can choose to cover them when they want or ask students to be responsible for these separate chapters on their own. Separating this material also makes assigning it easier for instructors and studying nomenclature easier for students.
Connections to biochemistry and contemporary topics
The organic chemistry that students learn is applied toward biomolecules—proteins, carbohydrates, saccharides, and lipids—in optional, self-contained sections at the ends of most chapters, beginning with Chapter 1. These sections provide reinforcement concepts encountered earlier in the chapter. In addition, each chapter has one or two applications boxes to show how the concepts in the chapter apply to their lives and future careers.
Prepares pre-professional students for standardized exams
Students who are more competent with mechanisms will be better poised for standardized exams like the MCAT. Some questions on these exams include passages that have students evaluate mechanisms. On other questions, all the answer choices were written to look correct to those who don’t understand the material. Moreover, the content of the Organic Chemistry of Biomolecules sections align well with the expectations of the MCAT2015 exam.
Features that facilitate active learning
Approximately 15 active-learning exercises, called Your Turns, are integrated in each chapter, encouraging students to interact with the text. In addition to getting students to work while they read, these exercises also serve as “reality checks” which indicate whether or not the student understands what they just read. Each chapter has an average of seven worked problems–each broken down into two steps (Think/Solve) that train students to ask the right questions before they approach a problem.
SmartWork online homework gives students the practice they need, with the types of questions instructors want to assign
Created by chemistry educators, SmartWork is the most intuitive online tutorial and homework system available for organic chemistry. A powerful engine supports and grades an unparalleled range of questions written for Karty’s text including numerous arrow-pushing problems. Every problem in SmartWork has hints and answer-specific feedback to coach students and provide the help they need, when they need it. Problems in SmartWork link directly to the appropriate page in the electronic version of Karty’s text so students have an instant reference and are prompted to read. continue reading »
Support for instructors who want to organize their course by mechanism
Each chapter in the Instructor's Guide begins with a brief overview of the chapter, followed by a section-by-section overview that includes information on differences between the mechanistic and a functional group organization. It includes suggestions on how to present difficult concepts to students, and documents information about the author’s (and his students') experiences with the material. Joel Karty’s blog gives clear explanations as to why he wrote the book and why he feels it has a better approach. The blog also demonstrates how to tackle some of the biggest challenges in teaching organic chemistry. In addition, posts by Stephen Pruett, author of the Instructor Guide, and other guest bloggers give a user’s view of the approach.