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ERIC Number: EJ888333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1756-1108
Impact of a Spiral Organic Curriculum on Student Attrition and Learning
Grove, Nathaniel P.; Hershberger, James W.; Bretz, Stacey Lowery
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v9 n2 p157-162 2008
At Miami University, the attrition rate in the year-long organic chemistry sequence for pre-medical majors typically ranges from 30-50%. To decrease attrition, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry developed an innovative, spiral curriculum. Unlike a traditional organic chemistry course that moves sequentially through the material, the spiral approach provides students with a broad, general overview of organic chemistry during the first semester, followed by exploration of important topics in more detail during the subsequent semester. A qualitative, case-study approach using interviews and reflective essays documented the experiences of eighteen students as they progressed through this spiral curriculum. This paper describes the strengths and weaknesses of the spiral approach, its impact on student attrition, results from ACS exams, and suggestions to improve the model. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Royal Society of Chemistry. Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF, UK. Tel: +44-1223 420066; Fax: +44-1223 423623; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio