Review of UNE online organic I

by Bill2211

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Recently finished UNE online organic I with lab. The following is a review of that course, which I found to be extremely difficult owing to a considerable lack of adequate instruction material. I was largely able to compensate through the use of outside books and materials, such as the organic for dummies, khan academy, and wikipedia, though that should not have been necessary.

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    Review of UNE online organic I

    I recently finished UNE's online Organic Chem I with lab, and I have to say, in over 200+ credit hours of studies, that was the hardest class I have ever taken. Organic is a pretty difficult subject in its own right, but what made this class particularly challenging is the deplorable level of instruction. The book is a poor copy that appears to be printed out of a .pdf file, which I say because each page has two page numbers. Also, the printing is so poor you can't even tell there is highlighting of the functional group movements, unless you look VERY closely.

    In essence, the problem with this course is analogous to someone showing you how to hammer two boards together, and then handing you a blueprint, dropping you off at home depot, and telling you to build a house. There is a HUGE gulf between the oversimplified explanations of the book, and the in-depth understanding required by the questions, which you have to bridge with very little support. I found myself frequently chasing my tail looking for the answers to problems, repeating a mantra over and over while studying, "the answer just isn't f*&^ing in there!" Don't even get me started on the lectures, which have the instructor essentially reading from the text, the same material you just read 20 minutes ago.

    About halfway through I bought other chem books and started using more online resources (thank god for wikipedia and khan academy), which helped quite a bit. I honestly learned organic much more in spite of this course than because of it. While the instructor answers questions, the answers tend to be about 2 sentences long and don't fill in the cavernous holes of understanding this course leaves you with.

    The lab portion is a simple virtual lab where you click and drag some lab equipment together, add reagents, and then see what pops out. Even for a long time computer gamer, it took me a minute to figure out the set up, which is not very intuitive or user friendly initially. The glassware shattering when I forgot to hook up the N2 gas was a nice effect though.

    The final is 60% of your grade, open book/note, online, and there is a significant curve (presumably because so many people bomb it). I managed to get an A in this class, though I am a straight A student and poured all of my energy into this course, studying 12-15 hours per module (16 modules total). This class honestly gave me nightmares, and I spent most of it unsure of if I would even pass. Unless you are a genius at chem or have taken multiple college level chem classes, I would strongly recommend a different course.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 9, '12
    Blanca R and Joe V like this.
  2. Poll: I've taken UNE Organic I and found it to be

    • Easy

      0% 0
    • Moderate

      50.00% 1
    • Difficult with adequate instruction

      50.00% 1
    • Difficult without adequate instruction

      0% 0
    • I started the class and dropped it

      0% 0
    2 Votes / Multiple Choice
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    11 Comments so far...

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    i just started taking this class, need to finish it in a month (no lab though)... wish me luck.
    Last edit by anasdrn on Jun 21, '12
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    anasdrn - how did UNE organic go?? i'm considering it myself and rather anxious. will not be doing the lab either. thanks!
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    anasdrn - how did UNE organic go?? i'm considering it myself and rather anxious. will not be doing the lab either. thanks!
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    There are a few problems with this course that the OP didn't list.
    1. The page numbers in the index do not correlate with those in the actual book.
    2. The instructor uses questions to make the student "think ahead" not to cover the work previously learned/discussed.
    3. The highlighting is so horrible that it is often difficult to tell the reagents necessary for the equation as they are in a faded, copied, light blue.
    4. The answers to the questions frequently go against the rules previously stated in the chapter. Such as adding a substituent to a benzene ring with an ortho-para directing group and having the answer showing the addition going to the Meta spot. No answers or rationale are provided. No source reaction/equations are given.

    All in all, do. not. take. this. course.
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    hi RJt027

    I am planning to take organic chemistry class at UNE, so i saw your post and it was helpful, so i want to ask, do you take this class online and open book exam is helpful and do you have same professor that is mention on UNE website right now! Reply as soon as possible please!

    any advice would be appreciated!
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    I am taking the course right now. I'll warn you that I had some problems right in the middle of the course (father got terminally ill). I found it extremely difficult to return to the subject after having taken a few weeks to stay with my Dad.

    Other than that.

    I found that a subscription to Chegg.com is well worth the cost with the rule that you use it to only CHECK your answers. I found that Chegg is filled with point-seekers that will just toss up any answer so they get the points rather than posting answers/rationale that are appropriate so make sure you know what your doing before you blindly follow.

    I kept all of my homework and quiz work so if you need help/walkthrough on specific problems, msg me I'll be glad to help (won't just toss out answers, if I had to suffer, so don't you

    Best Advice Ever: Scan the book. use OCR. seriously. A searchable PDF is a helluva lot better than a book with two page numbers on every page and an index that doesn't correlate with either.

    Become good friends with Khan Academy Organic Chemistry. Watch every video they have prior to reading the chapters. Then, go read the summary of the chapter, then read the chapter, then do every problem in the chapter. (he wants you to skip some, I can't fathom why as he has you skip easy problems but wants you to do problems with solutions/answers that are actually wrong..., makes no sense)

    Just to be fair to the course: I work 60 hours a week as a operating room nurse, have 6 kids, had a father that was terminally ill right in the middle of the course, and I'm pulling a 92.8% pre-final which I take in a week.

    This course is doable, just don't expect much assistance from the staff or the book AKA Teach yourself.
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    I am just beginning the course at UNE now. Unfortunately, I just finished taking Organic Chemistry at the University of Minnesota and got a B-. I struggled with one of my tests, but greatly improved my scores after working with a tutor. I was accepted into a program, but need a B to go. So now, I'm starting again. The ability to work through the course at your own pace is appealing because I feel like I understand the material well right now. However, the information online about this course makes me nervous.

    I like all your advice and will certainly include all those things in my preparing/studying. rjt027, would you mind posting again after you take the final on how well prepared you felt for it? And further advice for succeeding at the final? 70% is very intimidating! Thank you! Also, very sorry about your father
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    Ok: literally just finished the final.
    1) 82 questions, 4 hours. 1 Bathroom break (don't get up and drink 2 pots of coffee like I did)
    2) some serious advice here. Get a scanner or just save your quizzes to pdf w/ answers. You'll find it helpful, trust me.
    3) Scan the book and solutions manual if you have the energy, I found it helpful.
    4) masteroforganicchemistry website has a ton of very useful charts.
    5) You can use any material you have saved to your computer.
    6) get the programs: ChemBioDraw & ChemSketch. ChemBioDraw allows you to generate the structure of the molecule via its name. Saves significant time on several problems (chirality centers etc). note: just get the trial versions. ChemSketch allows you to generate the name via the layout of molecules.
    7) Ultimately, I got 62/82 questions correct. I think this poorly reflects the quiz/homework. I received 9/10-10/10 on every quiz and did every single question in the book. 93% on lab/quiz but a 75% on the final. Don't often run into the sort of spread.
    8) Without being able to review the test, I don't look forward to taking O-chem 2 next month.
    spingirl likes this.
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    Thanks for your response! This is all really good advice. I'm through the first 2 modules so far and it's going well, but it's early still. I've been saving my quizzes and trying to keep my notes very organized. I'm a little confused about what all you can use during the final. Definitely book and written notes and notes saved online, but obviously not the internet, right? Did you use ChemBioDraw and ChemSketch during the test? Sorry to hear you didn't do as well on the final as the quizzes. That's kind of the general opinion I've seen out there about this class.


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