Stereochemistry Podcast Video Tutorials Using Models 360

This tutorial was created by Rie Somlai, Delta State University, using Models 360 as a resource from the Chemical Educational Digital Library.
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In this podcast video tutorial using Models 360, students are helped in the visualization and manipulation of three dimensional molecules, a necessary skill for mastering stereochemistry concepts. The tutorial covers topics such as determining a stereocenter (asymmetric or stereogenic carbons), determining if a molecule is chiral or achiral, determining the priorities of atoms or groups about a stereocenter, and finally assigning the configuration as R or S. Each topic lesson within the tutorial contains a podcast video and rotatable Jmols (molecular models) for student usage while following along with the podcast video. Immediately following the podcast video, students are assessed with questions that provide immediate feedback to further student learning. Each podcast video is enhanced with text, highlighting, and arrow placement to direct student attention to the areas of interest.

Learning Goals

The goals of this tutorial are to help students to 1) locate any stereocenters (asymmetric or stereogenic carbons), 2) determine if a molecule is chiral or achiral, 3) determine the priorities of the atoms or groups surrounding the stereocenter(s), and 4) assign the configuration as R or S about the stereocenter(s). Another purpose of the tutorial is to help students comprehend 3D models from 2D representations and vice versa. Students are given an introduction to prospective drawings using solid lines, dashed wedges, and solid wedges and asked to compare this representation with molecular models from Models 360 and Lewis Structures.

Context for Use

I have designed this tutorial to be used in the laboratory to supplement stereochemistry lectures in the classroom. Students will need computers that have speakers or headphones for the audio portion of the podcast tutorial. It is also important that the computers have Java so that students have the opportunity to use the rotatable Jmols (molecular models) during the podcast videos and in answering questions that follow each lesson within the tutorial.

Description and Teaching Materials

Teaching Notes and Tips

I use this tutorial after the students have had one to two lectures on introductory stereochemistry topics. Students in both one semester and two semester organic chemistry classes can benefit from using the tutorial. The students viewed each podcast video together in a computer lab because the pc projector contained the speakers. Students were then allowed to answer questions within each lesson at their own pace and to seek help from their neighbor before the group watched the next podcast video. However, this tutorial could be used independently by the student outside of the laboratory to supplement lecture learning.


Each lesson within the tutorial has questions to further deepen students' knowledge. The students' responses to each question, whether true/false or multiple choice, are linked with immediate feedback. A short quiz covering the topics in the tutorial can also be administered as an assessment tool.

References and Resources

The podcast video tutorial is found at the following url: Once on the ChemEd DL Summit Resources page, look for activity number 10.

The ChemEd DL Summit Resource Course ( houses all of the submissions from two-year and four-year college faculty members who have designed resources using the Chem Ed DL (Chemical Educational Digital Library) for use in organic chemistry and general chemistry classrooms and laboratories.

This resource is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. NSF-DUE 1044239 and NSF-DUE 0937796. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.