Achieving Chemistry Excellence: Organic Chemistry, or ACE, is a Web-based program that has been developed specifically for instructors and students of introductory organic chemistry. In the typical organic chemistry course, students work questions out of a textbook for which a solutions manual is available. Students struggle with a question for a few minutes, look up the answer, and then feel as if they understand how to answer the question. It isn't until exam time that they realize that learning an answer to a question and knowing how to answer a question are two entirely different propositions.
Computer programs that can tell students that their responses are incorrect without giving away the correct answer are an ideal solution to this problem. Many Web-based chemistry homework programs exist, but most require text-based, numeric, or multiple-choice responses. By contrast, ACE permits students to draw structural responses to posed questions with a graphical structure-drawing interface. Moreover, ACE is the only program that provides specific feedback for incorrect structural responses, effectively teaching students how to solve the problem without giving away correct answers. ACE permits students to construct structural responses to posed questions with a graphical structure-drawing interface. They submit their structure to a server, and, if their response is incorrect, they are given feedback and asked to try again.