Saturday, February 14, 2009

Web based Spectra Game

Yesterday I used the NMR game in Second Life during our 2-hour Friday workshop in CHEM242. (We used a new location on Drexel island SLURL) The students who attended had looked at little or no material prior to the workshop. By the end I ended up explaining chemical shifts, complex coupling patterns and diastereotopic hydrogens differentiated by the presence of a chiral center. The only concept we didn't cover is integration, although we used peak size to take a guess about groups with lots of hydrogens (like trimethyl).

I think it was a very efficient way to teach NMR and the students can now go off and continue to practice till our next workshop Monday. Second Life has some advantages - such as the ability to mediate group study sessions where students from remote location can come together to play and discuss spectral assignments using either voice or chat. It is also nice to see the molecules in 3D, especially for bridged cyclic systems.

However, there is a bit of a learning curve to get into Second Life and not all computers have a suitable video card. So it is nice to now have the ability to play the game on a web browser. Andy set up the game play so that the score reflects the number of correct answers obtained in a row. There are also only 3 molecules to choose from instead of 5 in Second Life.

We're using JSpecView to render the spectra so expanding peaks simply requires dragging the mouse across the area of interest. It is also possible to integrate and view the metadata by right clicking.

Currently we mainly have H NMR spectra but we'll be adding lots more C NMR, IR, UV, MS, etc. It all depends on how many Open Data contributions we can find. If anyone has spectra to donate please upload them to ChemSpider and don't forget to check the box for Open Data.

This has been a wonderful example of rapid collaboration by Andrew Lang, Rajarshi Guha, Antony Williams, Robert Lancashire and myself.

Give the web Spectra Game a spin and see if you can beat the high score....


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3 Comments:

At 11:58 PM, Blogger ChemSpiderMan said...

It's been a great collaboration. I think the new structure images look better and with the new spectra we have added and made accessible via the web service it looks very slick!

 
At 5:07 AM, Blogger kdecf said...

I still think your spec game can be a powerfull tool in teaching and I will point it out to my students.
You have posted something like "it will be tested by the masses and issues will gradually resolve".So here is my feedback
1.I assume that the spectra-structure associations come out correct and the unexpected appearance of the score list must be due to either a poor choise ,indeed, or due to the spectrum itself been poorly presented or even missleading.
eg the ubiquitous 4.8 peak slumping
all other information
the missing downfield aldehyde signals
the non uniform format of stuctures especially those involving stereochemistry variables.
If a user is simply "kicked out" with no way to go back and see what
he/she has done wrong how is he supposed to comment postmortem on anything or even convince himself that there was indeed a better structure to klick upon!
2.Could the library be enriched with simpler structures raising clearcut NMR issues like 1ntensity ratios multiplicities etc?
3.Could there be some progression in dificulty apart from the number of alternative structures?
I feel free to suggest such things
because I am not in informatics and cannot appreciate what is involved.
I am thinking of submitting some spectra my self and will attempt to do so when I find out how exactly.

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley said...

K - thanks for your feedback. If an aldehyde peak is missing or there some other problem with the spectrum please leave a comment and we'll deal with it. You can hit the back button after getting kicked out to leave a comment.

 

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