Herzfeld Group

ConcepTests for General Chemistry

ConcepTests are flexible tools for active learning in large classes. These purposefully crafted multiple choice questions, combined with a suitable response system, allow all students to participate, rather than just the few who might otherwise respond to questions. A key feature is the debate among the students when they initially disagree on the answer. This approach was developed by Eric Mazur and is described in his book Peer Instruction: A User's Manual (Prentice Hall, 1997). Although originally conceived for intermittent use in lectures, more intense use and variations can support continuous classroom conversation to replace lectures that are generally redundant with the textbook. That is the intent of the large set of ConcepTests provided here and is how they are used at Brandeis University. Such an active classroom presents some management challenges, but these are minor compared to the benefits.

The materials provided here are for classroom use only. All other uses are copyright protected. Answers are not supplied because the site is open to students. (In any case, it makes no sense for a question to be used by an instructor who is unsure of the answer.) The easier questions are warm up exercises for confidence building and the more difficult ones are for constructivist learning via debate.

This collection is a work in progress and will be edited based on experience. If you find that a question can be interpreted in such a fashion that it has more or less than one correct answer, please send us a message (specifying the question number), so that we can tune up the question. Other comments are also welcome.

Choose a Topic:
from an alphabetical list
from the chronology used at Brandeis University

This work at Brandeis University has been supported in part
by the
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
and the
National Science Foundation.

Other chemical education initiatives and research interests
of the Herzfeld group are summarized on our home page.

A compilation of other chemistry ConcepTests is maintained at the
University of Wisconsin