Quiz and in-class worksheet

Karen Hudson-Edwards
Birkbeck, University of London
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For 1st year 'Introduction to Geochemistry'

  • a pre-lecture quiz reviewing the previous weeks' lecture materials
  • an in-class worksheet allowing students to practice skills relating to chemical reactions

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The course is a 1st year undergraduate, half-year course called 'Introduction to Geochemistry' for Geology and Environmental Geology students. The course assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry (although it does assume some math knowledge) and covers all geochemical fundamentals (the atom, periodic table, bonding, chemical reactions and kinetics, isotopes, aqueous geochemistry, mineral chemistry, weathering) that students will need in subsequent courses. The course is delivered both face-to-face and by distance learning via CD-ROM.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

  • The students must have completed the first five lectures of the course to attempt the quiz
  • The students must be attending the lecture on chemical reactions to attempt the worksheet</li

How the activity is situated in the course

Both activities are stand-alone exercises that are done in the classroom (for face-to-face students) or via email (distance learners).


Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • The goals of the quiz are to serve as a refresher for previous lectures on the atom, periodic table, bonding, mineral chemistry and chemical reactions.
  • The goals of the worksheet are to give students practical experience and feedback on doing exercises related to chemical reactions.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

  • The higher order thinking skills goal for the quiz is synthesis of ideas.
  • The higher order thinking skills goal for the worksheet is analysis of data.

Other skills goals for this activity

Students are able to work in groups for both activities (although most choose not to do so).

Description of the activity/assignment

  • In this brief pre-lecture quiz, students are asked to consider concepts that they have learned in previous lectures, and to answer the questions in a short period of time; hopefully without the aid of lecture notes. The quiz allows students to settle into the lecture, arrive late (many are coming from work), and refresh their geochemical knowledge from previous weeks.
  • In this worksheet students balance chemical equations, work out numbers of moles and masses of compounds, and determine delta H and delta G for a common Earth-surface reaction. This is appropriate for first-year Geology/Earth Sciences students.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students work on both the quiz and worksheet during the class period. I ask students to correct each other's work, I circulate through the class to make sure students understand the problems, and I go over the answers on the whiteboard.

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