Penny Bagshaw reviews this e-learning package

Roger Frost's organic chemistry
Roger Frost
Network, VLE, internet and standalone versions available 2010 | £275 - £599 |
Reviewed by Penny Bagshaw

This huge e-learning package is a compendium of models, mechanisms and animations designed to support the teaching of organic chemistry at AS and A-level. Additionally, some sections would be useful for GCSE classes. The range of chemistry and the quality of presentation are both highly impressive.

While the resource is obviously suitable for whole-class teacher-led presentation, use by students could also be profitable, working together to reinforce each other's understanding. But of course this is an illustrative resource; it can enrich but never replace well-planned learning activities.

Screenshot from interactive exercise

Each slide has a text panel which outlines the learning objectives and gives instructions for activating the animations, a click acts as a 'play' button to start an animation, and sometimes a drag and drop is used to move something to the right place. In the index of topics there is a courseware help section, including slides for teachers and students; it would be advisable for this to be displayed prominently, as it is helpful and can save time.

The package covers pretty well the whole range of organic chemistry required at A-level and the vast majority of slides run smoothly, with mechanisms being particularly well illustrated. With few exceptions, the chemistry is admirably clear. In the alkanes and fuels section, however, the distinction between isomerisation and reforming was blurred, with, for example, the reforming slide appearing to show isomerisation and the isomerisation slide apparently showing cracking and reforming.

But these are small quibbles within a package of substantial scale and quality. All schools and colleges could benefit from using it to enhance their teaching of organic chemistry. The sheer scale of the package makes it good value for money.

Related Links

 Roger Frost's Organic Chemistry 

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