Molecular Images in Organic Chemistry: Assessment of Understanding in Aromaticity, Symmetry, Spectroscopy, and Shielding

  • Julie B. Ealy
  • Jim Hermanson


When students take General Chemistry there are substantially fewer molecular images than they will encounter in Organic Chemistry. The molecular images Organic Chemistry students see in their textbooks are ones that use dashes and wedges to represent 2D and semi 3D views, ball and spoke, ball and wire, and structural formulas, to name just a few. They also use physical models and may also have the opportunity to work with computer generated molecular models. They are expected to understand verbal instruction connected with the images and at the same time how the verbal explanation fits with the visual image. There has been little research that combines the use of molecular images of molecules with questions that require organic chemistry students to understand concepts. This research paper addresses students' understanding of organic chemistry concepts where ball and wire and ball and spoke visual images of molecules are combined with questions related to the areas of aromaticity, symmetry, spectroscopy, and shielding. The intention is to provide a basis for assessing students' understanding.


Organic chemistry concepts aromaticity spectroscopy symmetry shielding molecular images 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Indiana University-Purdue UniversityIndianapolisUSA

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