Thursday, January 12, 2006

FAQ 22: Can I take this course without being a Drexel student?

Anyone is welcome to audit my organic chemistry courses:

I have had several requests from non Drexel students wishing to take the courses for credit. That is possible but you must first register as a non-matric student. The instructions for that are here. Note that my classes are not part of DEL (Drexel E-Learning).

I always like hearing how people are using the class material. Keep me posted.

If you would like access to the quizzes let me know.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

FAQ 21: How do I subscribe to an RSS feed?

In all my blogs there is a "Subscribe with Bloglines" button at the top of the page. If you already have a Bloglines account it will add the feed. If you don't have an account it will ask you to create one.

Everyone taking my classes needs to be subscribed to the common FAQ (this blog):

Then you at least have to be subscribed to the blog for the class you are taking:

If you are interested in learning more about RSS and e-learning subscribe to:

You may also try subscribing to searches in Bloglines. Just type your interest (e.g. organic chemistry) in the search box in Bloglines then Click on "Subscribe to this Search". Whenever someone posts something about organic chemistry in a blog monitored by Bloglines it will show up. You will be able to co-miserate with other students reporting about their experiences in organic chemistry classes around the world as well as some serious science blogs.

Make your homepage. That way whenever you open your browser, you will see if there are any new posts in any of the RSS feeds you are subscribed to. They will appear in bold with the number of unread posts indicated.

FAQ 20: Do we have to use CiteULike for citations?

Starting in 2006, you may use CiteULike as a convenient way to link to articles for your blogging project. For chemistry articles, your best bet is to click on ScienceDirect after clicking on Post Article. If you not on Drexel's campus, make sure you are running VPN in order to be able to view the pdf's of the articles. If you don't use CiteULike, make sure that for journal articles you use a proper citation with authors, article name, journal name, volume, year and page. For other types of citation use common sense.

Monday, May 30, 2005

FAQ 19: How do I save the Flash files on my computer?

This will only work for Flash files. Currently archived lectures in CHEM242 are in Real format and cannot be downloaded. If you really want to download these gigantic files (200 Meg/hour) as avi let me know.

1) right click on the streaming screencast link and save target on your desktop
2) on the desktop, create a folder with the same name as the html file but replace ".html" with "_media/" (for example: "" would give you a folder name "CHEM241_s05-038examreview2_media"
3) copy and paste the name of your new folder in IE - you should see 3 files
4) right click on each of the 3 files and save into your new folder
5) you should now be able to view the Flash lecture by clicking on the html file

Note that some of the Flash files can be large (50Meg) so generally streaming is best. But if the combination of the podcast and pdf is not working for you this will.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

FAQ 18: What do I do if my computer crashes during the test?

As long as you clicked “save” for each response, you can go to another computer and resume the test.

FAQ 17: is slow or down sometimes. What can I do?

Login at

FAQ 16: What is the best way to study organic chemistry?

a) Keep up with the lectures.
b) As soon as you can try the quizzes.
c) For every quiz question and problem that you don’t fully understand, find the part of the lecture that covers that topic and listen again.
d) Make a list of the concepts and questions that you don’t fully grasp and email your questions sooner rather than later.
e) After your test, go through each question that you don’t fully understand why you got it wrong and email your questions to the instructor.
f) When you ask a question show the instructor how far you got so that the conceptual block can be uncovered. Otherwise you might as well just listen to the recording again.
g) Assume responsibility for managing your time so that all your concerns will be addressed in time.

FAQ 15: How do I find the test averages?

They will be posted in the class wiki.

FAQ 14: Can I take the online course if it conflicts with another course?

Yes. But it will be necessary to override. Contact the instructor to do this.

FAQ 13: Is there a curve?

There may be a slight curve on the final scores but it will always be in your favor.

FAQ 12: Why do I get email notices from SAS about my exam room and time that conflict with the times in WebCT?

The exam room and time are automatically generated for each class. Ignore. The exam period usually starts right after the last class and lasts for several days. Same rooms and rules as for tests.

FAQ 11: Why are there more questions on the make-up with the same amount of time?

So you will take the first test seriously. You should be taking the first test with the objective of doing well on it. This means preparing well doing quizzes and asking questions well ahead of time over the course of the term.

FAQ 10: Why do I not get the correct answers on tests after grading?

It is your responsibility to go through the questions you got wrong, review that material again and attempt to solve those questions again. It is also your responsibility to ask to review certain questions or topics that are unclear. E-mail the instructor your questions as soon as you can. If the question cannot be answered by email, schedule a time to meet with the instructor.

FAQ 9: What does it mean that a classroom is reserved?

If a classroom is reserved, it will show up in this blog. What it means is that in principle only students in the class should be there taking a test and the reservation should be posted on the door of the classroom. If anyone is disturbing other students, contact a consultant and ask them to remove the student and announce that the classroom is reserved. It is not necessary to take the test during the reserved time but it might be useful to ensure quiet during test taking.

FAQ 8: How do I resolve technical problems?

Either physically go to the Korman center and talk to a consultant or look for help online General computer support can also be reached at 215-895-2698.

FAQ 7: Is WebCT available at all times?

No. Aside from technical problems that are generally fixed fairly quickly when reported, WebCT and Drexel One have scheduled down times. Make sure to check for these scheduled downtimes if you were counting on having access to WebCT. The link to the scheduled downtimes is

FAQ 6: When will the grading for each question be released?

Unless otherwise specified, you will be able to see which questions you missed right after the testing session is closed. Make sure to identify which questions you got wrong and revisit the corresponding recorded lecture module. If you still don't see where you went wrong, e-mail the instructor, outlining your approach to the problem.

FAQ 5: Are the tests open book?

Yes, BUT you are expected to know the material well enough to not have to use any additional materials. You may refer to documents to double check some quick facts but the length of the test is based on closed-book conditions.

FAQ 4: What material is covered?

The syllabus provides a checklist of the items we cover from the book. The quizzes should give you a good feeling for the question types and expected answers. For CHEM 242, the covered material is probably best found in the Powerpoint files available in WebCT.

FAQ 3: Where are the tests and exams?

Korman 103, 104, 105 or 111. Just walk in and take it during the testing period. You may not speak to other student present or on your cell phone.

FAQ 2: When are tests and exams?

Quizzes for each chapter are available from anywhere at any time. Each scheduled test and exam displays the start and end times in WebCT. If the start time is in the past it just has not been scheduled yet. A few weeks before the test or exam the schedule will be specified. You are responsible for knowing the Korman hours ( and scheduled classes (posted on the doors) in the assigned rooms. The last day is a NO EXCUSE day. If you experience a problem taking the test before the last testing day, contact the instructor by email to make arrangements. On the last day it is TOO LATE to fix problems, no matter the cause. We will go over the test the following day, when the answers will be discussed. If you failed to take the test before the last day and had a problem you will get zero. Your only option would be to take the automatic make-up.

FAQ 1: How does podcasting work in this class?

You can now receive the lecture audio mp3's for this class automatically through the RSS feed for the class.

The nice thing is that the downloads happen in the background, as long as you are connected to the internet. Let me know how it works out.

You must first download an aggregator that handles files like ipodder or iTunes.

To subscribe using iPodder, copy the url from the orange XML button at the top of the class blog and paste it inside iPodder.

To subscribe using iTunes, either go through the iTunes directory Podcasts->Education->Higher Ed and click on subscribe.
You can also just click the "add to iTunes" button at the top of the podcast blogs then click on subscribe.