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ERIC Number: ED564511
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 208
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3036-0614-4
Students' Understanding of Alkyl Halide Reactions in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry
Cruz-Ramirez de Arellano, Daniel
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
Organic chemistry is an essential subject for many undergraduate students completing degrees in science, engineering, and pre-professional programs. However, students often struggle with the concepts and skills required to successfully solve organic chemistry exercises. Since alkyl halides are traditionally the first functional group that is studied in undergraduate organic chemistry courses, establishing a robust understanding of the concepts and reactions related to them can be beneficial in assuring students' success in organic chemistry courses. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to elucidate and describe students' understanding of alkyl halide reactions in an undergraduate organic chemistry course. Participants were interviewed using a think-aloud protocol in which they were given a set of exercises dealing with reactions and mechanisms of alkyl halide molecules in order to shed light on the students' understanding of these reactions and elucidate any gaps in understanding and incorrect warrants that may be present. These interviews were transcribed and analyzed using qualitative inquiry approaches. In general, the findings from this study show that the students exhibited gaps in understanding and incorrect warrants dealing with: (1) classifying substances as bases and/or nucleophiles, (2) assessing the basic or nucleophilic strength of substances, (3) accurately describing the electron movement of the steps that take place during alkyl halide reaction mechanisms, and (4) assessing the viability of their proposed reactive intermediates and breakage of covalent bonds. In addition, implications for teaching and future research are proposed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A