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Teaching and Learning by Spectral Example … Part 1

There are many ways to teach the process of elucidating unknown structures. Offering a student a visual guide, such as seeing firsthand a spectral dataset, can enhance the learning process and better equip the student on future work.

Presented below is a typical elucidation question from a university test. The numerical values have been extracted from a 1H NMR spectrum and the student is basically left to focus on elucidating the unknown.


If a 1H NMR spectrum is presented with the question, as shown below, the student is faced with the tasks of interpreting the spectrum and elucidating the unknown.


Although both approaches can serve a purpose, the latter approach enhances the experience of learning how to elucidate an unknown.