preparing chemistry quizzes and tests with chemical calculators

Regardless of which chemistry topic you are teaching, you will want to give your students questions and quizzes to train them, to help them understand and to check their knowledge. Quite often these questions will require some stoichiometric calculations, concentration calculations or pH calculations. Especially stoichiometry is often represented, as it can be used whenever chemical properties of particular elements or groups of compounds are discussed.

Quizzes preparation can be time consuming, especially if you want to prepare several variants of questions. You may want to do it to be sure that your students don't exchange information and don't cheat, or quite contrary - to be sure that once they exchange information and discuss different variants of the questions they meet different cases.

To test our programs we entered cooperation with a teacher of one of Warsaw schools. We have used our calculators to help prepare quizzes and answer keys for extended chemistry curriculum students in Liceum Ogólnokształcące (three different classes, students 16, 17 and 18 years old). It was fast and easy. Even if neither of the programs was designed for exactly that purpose they all have proven their usefulness.

Quizzes administered by this teacher usually contain two questions that require calculations and that's the part of the quiz we concentrated on. Questions are handed to each student as a computer printout, prepared using a text editor ( Writer). Due to the way students sit in a class it makes sense to prepare at least two versions of the quiz, but sometimes six versions are prepared. We agreed that teacher will prepare general ideas and that we will concentrate just on the numerical side; during meeting it turned out that it is sometimes worth to play with numbers using chemical calculators to find the best variant of the question. All questions were asked in Polish, but we provide translated versions to let you feel how it worked out.

We have prepared three quizzes, using three calculators:

Most important conclusion from our tests is that with the use of chemical calculators quizzes can be prepared much faster, and one can very fast and very flexibly test many ideas, before deciding how the question should look alike.

Feel free to contact us and ask questions if anything seems unclear.

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