ChemVantage.org

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ChemVantage.org

Who we are

ChemVantage LLC was founded in 2010 to provide Open Education Resources for teaching and learning General Chemistry. The founder and chief software architect of ChemVantage is Chuck Wight, who has taught General Chemistry at the University of Utah and at Weber State University since 1984.

Subject material

The database is currently populated with more than 2000 quiz, homework and exam questions in General Chemistry.

Why we created this site

Chemistry and many other technical disciplines are taught from a problem-solving approach. Lots of practice is required to build a solid foundation of skills for using knowledge to solve scientific problems. We create web sites that provide immediate feedback so that students can learn problem-solving skills through repeated attempts without having to wait long periods of time for their assignments to be graded by human instructors.

Learning versus testing

Usually, web sites with dynamic content like this one are best used as learning tools, not assessment or testing tools. For this reason, we have configured the software to allow students to submit proposed solutions to the problems as often as they want, in order to improve their scores. The objective is for students to use the feedback to correct their errors prior to the deadline for the assignment.

Quizzes

The quizzes presented here are designed to encourage students to read and understand the textbook used for the course. The questions are based on material presented in most introductory General Chemistry textbooks. The question items have straighforward answers not requiring detailed calculations. Questions are presented in several different formats including multiple choice, true/false, checkbox, fill-in-the-blank, and numerical answers. Each quiz consists of 10 questions drawn at random from a database containing many more questions. In the process of taking several quizzes to improve their scores, students will likely encounter some questions repeated from earlier quizzes; however, it is unlikely that any two quizzes will contain exactly the same set of questions in the same order. By assigning quizzes to be completed prior to the lecture, instructors can be assured that their students have some exposure to the material. This allows for more discussion, dialog and engagement in the classroom, and it makes learning more fun (really!).

Video Lectures

A series of 10-minute video lectures on a variety of General Chemistry topics is avialable from the Home Page. The videos are designed to reinforce the main points presented in many textbooks.

Homework

The homework assignments are designed to give students practice in solving quantitative problems having numerical answers. Each student can download the assignment, work the problems and submit the answers online. Answers are judged to be correct if the numerical solution agrees with the solution found in the database to within a specified tolerance (indicated for each problem). The site informs students which answers are correct, so that they can rework incorrectly solved problems and resubmit the answers. Each problem is based on a template that draws parameters at random, so the correct answer is different for each student. This makes them suitable for collaboration and working in groups, because even though the group may work to find a correct algorithm for solving a problem, each student will have to use the algorithm to find the detailed solution to his or her own problem.

Practice Exams

Students can take timed practice exams that draw questions from any group of 3 or more topics. Each exam is designed to take 60 minutes or less to complete, and includes a selection of 10 quiz questions worth 2 points each, 5 of the easier homework problems at 10 points each, and 2 more challenging homework problems worth 15 points each. On the student's Portfolio Page, the scores are disaggregated by topic to reveal the student's areas of strength and weakness. Practice exams may be repeated as often as desired. The numerical questions are parameterized, making it extremely unlikely that a student will ever get two identical practice exams.

Portfolio Page

Each student can access a page that gives the score on each quiz and homework assignment. Students who are members of a group have a scores page associated with group assignments. There is a separate portfolio page that provides a summary of all activities completed in ChemVantage, including videos watched, quizzes completed, homework problems solved, and practice exams completed. Scores on the practice exams are disaggregated to reveal students' strengths and weakness by topic.

Instructors can view the group scores of each student in his/her class or group.

ChemVantage Accounts Are FREE

Anyone can obtain a ChemVantage account at no cost, either as an individual by logging in with a third-party OpenID account (e.g., Google/Gmail account). Chemistry instructors can also make ChemVantage assignments available to their classes by connecting the class learning management system (LMS) to ChemVantage using our LTI interface

All ChemVantage accounts expire automatically after a 6 month period of inactivity.

How Can ChemVantage Afford To Be Free?

None of the question items in ChemVantage are owned by textbook publishers, so we pay no royalties or license fees. Also, ChemVantage is powered by Google App Engine, so we are able to provide high quality, reliable service at minimal cost.

Instructors

ChemVantage is a great resource for teachers and professors. The BEST way to manage a class using this site is to connect from your institution's learning management system (e.g., Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard Learn, Desire2Learn or Sakai) using the LTI standard. This method allows your LMS to handle all passwords, role assignments and security. For details of how to get a free set of LTI credentials from ChemVantage, please visit our LTI registration page. All LTI connections and ChemVantages services are provided free of charge.

Instructors can customize quiz and homework assignments for their classes using the link near the top of every quiz or homework assignment page.

Teaching Assistants

An instructor may assign any user to be a teaching assistant for a group managed by the instructor. Teaching assistants may view the scores of group members and may view the solutions to homework exercises.

Editors

Any instructor wishing to contribute question items for quiz or homework assignments may request an editor account by sending email to admin@chemvantage.org. The copyrights to all question items at this site are owned entirely by ChemVantage LLC. The only way that we can keep costs low enough to offer free accounts to both students and instructors is to avoid paying royalties to textbook publishers. Therefore, all contributors of ChemVantage question items are asked to certify that all contributed items are original works, and that the author assigns the copyrights to ChemVantage LLC to be shared freely under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Learning Management System Integration

IMS Global Certified ChemVantage is certified by the IMS Global Learning Consortium to be conformant with the LTI v1.0, v1.1 and v2.0 standards for learning tools interoperability. The IMS conformance registration number for ChemVantage is IMSB2C2ce2014W1.

This means that you can configure most learning management systems such as Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, Sakai or Desire2Learn with an LTI link to ChemVantage. This allows your LMS to establish and maintain ChemVantage accounts automatically, without having to maintain separate usernames and passwords. If the LMS supports LTI v1.1 or higher, then ChemVantage will report the assignment scores back to the LMS gradebook. The administrator of your LMS can set this up by generating a set of ChemVantage LTI credentials at our LTI registration page.

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