Student Union Building II (testing and tutoring center)

Tutoring Center|Program Navigation|


For years many instructors have been convinced of the utility of giving in-class quizzes. These quizzes encourage students to work at a steady pace and give them feedback on how well they know the material. There are several drawbacks to in-class quizzes, however. They give you only one opportunity to test your knowledge and prove that you know the material. Quizzes give you some feeling as to how well you are understand the material but they don't give you a chance to test your knowledge more than once. From the instructor's point of view, grading quizzes consumes many hours of the week. We all are very busy. The instructor is no exception!

Some computerized quiz programs (that you buy) can also be used to self-evaluate your preparation. Most things of this sort, however, have limited utility since you are not required to use them. Quizzes of course usually only mean something when they are taken as part of the grade since only then will most people study hard enough to insure they understand the material.

Program Description:

We have tried to improve the chances that you are successful in learning Chemistry by writing our own computer program that allows you to take the quiz for a particular topic up to four times. In the past the typical student took each quiz three times before receiving a satisfactory grade. If you try to take the quiz more than four times the program will not allow it. A deadline will be set for each quiz. See your instructor for specific dates but anticipate that they will be a few days after the material for that quiz (chapter) has been covered in the lecture. You should not wait until the deadline for the quiz. If you do, it will be necessary to wait to gain access to one of the computers. Try taking the quizzes early. You can take quizzes on chapters not covered in lecture yet if you feel well prepared. Budget your time. Anticipate taking the quiz very early after studying the material. Then if the quiz is hard compared to your knowledge, you will have some time to learn the material and possibly to get help from the tutors in the tutoring room. Each time you take the quiz chances are high that the questions will be quite   different. The quiz may even test different concepts in that chapter. You should be prepared for anything in that chapter when you come back to take it again. This will not be possible if you wait to the last minute to take the quiz.

In the past, up to 40% of the students received a perfect score on some of the quizzes. Do not interpret this to mean that the quizzes are easy. You better study if you want to do well! Often students receive 0 out of 10 points on their first attempt, but persistence pays off!

One of the two problems in a quiz is a basic skill problem, which you should be able to solve with only a basic understanding of the material. The other problem is written to test your skills on a particular topic and will often include cumulative skills. Many of them you will find to be rather challenging, but all are very possible if you understand the material in the chapter. You will have a time limit (40 minutes) to finish a quiz; if you don't finish the quiz in that amount of time, the program will be terminated. The score that you have earned on the quiz up to that time will be saved. The amount of time left during the quiz will be shown at all times in a box that will be found in the top left hand corner of the quiz. Additionally, you will receive a reminder beep every ten minutes from the computer.

There is no penalty for taking the quiz more times than necessary since the highest grade is the one that is retained.  Some students have continued to take it after receiving a satisfactory grade, just for the fun of it!

Tutoring Center (top):

All quizzes will be taken in the Student Union Building II. The hours of operation will be posted outside the room and in the General Chemistry WEB site.  It is your responsibility to find out the times. You will not be able to take a quiz if you arrive later than 15 minutes before it closes and then you must be finished with it by closing time. When you are ready to take a quiz, you should enter your name on a log sheet found on the desk as you enter. You will also be required to show some sort of a photo ID card to the tutor. After entering your name, you should place all of your books etc. on the shelves in the room. No books or other material should be near the computers. You are only allowed a calculator when you take the quiz. We will provide scratch paper and periodic tables. Scratch paper should be thrown away in the wastebaskets in the room when you are finished. You can may not take them to the tutor after or during the quiz. You are not allowed to ask for help on solving any part of a quiz that you are currently taking and are not allowed to talk to each other during your quiz.  The tutoring center is for help tutoring and testing.  Individuals not involved in either of those activities should not be in the room.  

Please keep in mind it is difficult to concentrate when there is a lot of noise; please do not talk before, during, or after a quiz.

Program Navigation: (top)

When you are ready to take a quiz, using the mouse double click with the left button on the icon for your quiz. The main screen will appear; click on the box where you are to enter your PIN (SSN) and enter it. Follow the rest of the instructions on this menu. You start taking the quiz after selecting which quiz you want to take by clicking on Start in the top left hand corner of the screen. Two problems will appear on a new screen. Work the problems in any order. Enter your answer in the indicated box. In some problems you may need to use scientific notation to express your answer. For numbers such as 5.00x105 and 5.00x10- 5 you would type 5.00e5 and 5.00e-5 (no spaces), respectively. When you are ready to see if it is correct, click on the Grade button on the right side next to where your score is shown. On many problems your score intitially reads a score between 4 andr 6 points. This is the score you will have if you get it right. If not the score decreases by one point and you get another chance to enter an answer. You can continue entering answers and having them graded until your score is reduced to zero. If you do not understand how to solve a problem, you can buy a hint for one of your points. When you are finished with the quiz click on Finished in the top left hand part of the quiz screen. Your score is saved (highest one only) on a database file that your instructor will access. If you have trouble understanding how to navigate through the program, you can ask only the tutor for help.