Improving the students’ transition from general chemistry to organic chemistry

  • Alexandra Collins-Webb
  • Kathleen A. Jeffery
  • Ryan Sweeder
Keywords: General Chemistry, Chemical Education Research, Curriculum, Organic Chemistry


The transition from general chemistry to organic chemistry can be a challenge for students as it often involves a transition from quantitatively-oriented to mechanistically-oriented thinking. This study examined the student experience of this transition through qualitative surveys and found that the design of the general chemistry course can significantly decrease the difficulty of the transition between the two courses and simultaneously help students understand the commonalities that exist between the content of the two courses. The inclusion of an introduction to organic chemistry and the use of clickers in general chemistry course also increased reported students’ pre-organic confidence.