General Chemistry

General Chemistry

Essay Workshops

We do an awful lot of focus on teaching but realisticly, authentic assessment that actually engages the student, that’s a tougher ask... I set a lot of essay type assignments.

Students Mark Peers Work

I think to get the students to straight away mark for somebody else what they’ve just done and then to mark or take part in the marking of two other versions of the same thing is really powerful.  So it’s not so much me directly finding out what they do and don’t understand but using methods by which they can diagnose for themselves.  I haven’t got this, she has, or yep I have got most of that, she hasn’t, and I can see where she went wrong.  Very powerful, very powerful indeed. 

Use ChemBytes for Balancing Equations and Stoichiometry

The ChemBytes website contains a great set of resources for teaching the basics of balancing equations and the conservation of matter.

Link to ChemBytes: Conservation of Matter

Use ChemBytes for Heat and Energy

The ChemBytes website contains a sophisticated set of learning resources for heat and energy, incorporating simulations and practice problems.

Link to ChemBytes: Heat and Energy

Use ChemBytes for Phase Changes

The ChemBytes website has a sophisticated set of learning resources for phase changes. Simulations and practice questions are included.

Link to ChemBytes: Phase Changes


Use ChemBytes for Equilibrium

The ChemBytes website has a sophisticated set of learning resources for chemical equilibrium. Simulations and practice problems are integrated to help students understand the basics.

Link to ChemBytes: Chemical Equilibria


Use ChemBytes for Aqueous Solutions

The ChemBytes website has a sophisticated set of learning objects to help students understand specific fundamental topics such as aqueous solutions. Dissolution and speciation are covered in detail with simulations and visualisations.

Link to ChemBytes: Aqueous Solutions


Identify Misconceptions in Lab

In the lab it comes out in a variety of ways.  It comes out most commonly when the student gets to actually start doing their calculations and you ask them to relate that back to what they’ve actually physically measured.  And when they start doing those sorts of things you realise there’s a bit of a misplaced idea here or a misconception that you can deal with there.

Mingle With Students

In the workshops, the workshop idea as we run them is that you are out and about and amongst the students all the time in those groups, seeing what’s going on in the groups, seeing how they’re answering their questions.  They have set questions on sheets that they work through in groups and the groups of three just get one set.  They’re all working on them together and you’re moving in and out and around among the groups and seeing how they’re going.  In that circumstance you can quickly, having looked at three or four of your eight different groups, figure out where a particular issue woul

Mingle With Students

In the lecture theatre the best strategy there, where you’re confronted by all the constraints of the lecture theatre, is to stop and do stuff with the students, walk around amongst them, see what they’re actually doing... And out of that you might go back and address some aspect of it and revisit it or something like that or you might point them to some tools to use to work out some other aspect.  So in the lecture theatre it’s very much for me a case of stopping and going and seeing what they’re doing and if you don’t then clearly you don’t know. 


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