Welcome to ChemInteractive

ChemInteractive is a free site designed to promote active learning of Chemistry.   It is targeted at students learning Organic Chemistry in the early years of College or University programmes.   Check the menu at the top to see what topics are available.

For each topic ChemInteractive provides problem activities to help students test, and improve, their learning.   The problems have four key features:

  1. Most require the user to draw, or interact with, chemical structures.   This is valuable for learning how to draw molecular structures and reaction mechanisms.
  2. Most provide detailed feedback to the user.   For example, if an answer is not correct, the feedback will provide information that will help the learner to identify, and correct, the error.
  3. Most allow the users to choose the level of difficulty of the problems, so that they can choose problems appropriate to their background knowledge and their learning goals.
  4. Most provide links to helpful resources that users can consult to help them learn the material.   Many of these links are to sections of the Virtual Textbook of Organic Chemistry, the excellent, freely available, online textbook produced by Professor William Reusch of the Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University.   Prof. Reusch has also compiled an extensive set of problems in organic chemistry.

The interactive functionality of ChemInteractive is made possible by the use of embedded applications for drawing and displaying chemical structures.   The principal applets are "JSME", a molecular editor that allows easy drawing of chemical structures, "JSmol", a 3D viewer for chemical structures, and "ChemDoodle Web Components", a set of apps for drawing and visualising structures, mechanisms and spectra.   These sophisticated tools are freely available through the talent and generosity of the developers credited at the bottom of the page.

The apps should run in just about any modern web browser, but not in Internet Exporer 8 or earlier versions.  Firefox works very well, but there are some issues using Chrome, which we are trying to resolve.  ChemInteractive should run on just about any computer, and on tablets and smart phones, but the applets may be slow, and difficult to use on smart phones.   If your system is compatible, you should see two of them in windows to the right.   If they do not appear check that JavaScript is enabled in your browser and try again.
The pages are best viewed using a display that is at least 1000 pixels wide.
JSME molecular editor
Try drawing some structures; the interface is intuitive.   You can get detailed instructions here.
JSmol 3D structure viewer
Left click and drag will rotate, mouse wheel will zoom.   You can get detailed instructions here.

ChemInteractive is still in the development and testing phase.
Although it is far from complete, ChemInteractive is "live" so that it can be tested and evaluated.  Notifications on each page provide information on the current status of the functionality on that page, and estimates of the timescale for further development.  Please accept our apologies for errors, bugs, and gaps in functionality that you encounter.  We are making improvements on a daily basis, so please check back again soon to try the latest version.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please leave them here.