Categories
News

Bugs are great in ecosystems, but not on ChemQuiz.net

Hello again!  I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe.  I know that most if not all of you have started back to school, whether it’s remote learning, “hybrid” or face-to-face, so I’m sure this has been a stressful time for all of us as we re-learn science teaching during the pandemic.

At my school, we just finished our third week of hybrid or “blended” learning, and the experience so far has been… interesting.  Because I see some students on Tuesday/Thursday, some on Wednesday/Friday, and some that are remote only, I have ten seating charts and fifteen rosters for five classes, so just keeping track of who’s supposed to be in which class on what day has been an adjustment.  Add in students who are sick and more who are quarantined (like our entire football team for 10 days!), and I’m just hoping that my students learn anything this school year without going crazy.  For those of you going back to face-to-face teaching soon, my main recommendation is that you should expect everything you do to take at least three times as long as it normally does, so do less, if possible.

Because of that, I haven’t been able to do much with ChemQuiz.net, except when I finally got caught up with my schoolwork this week, which was just in time for a MAJOR bug involving assignment email notifications!  A few of you wrote me and said your students were getting inundated with dozens and dozens of notifications, sometimes for assignments they’d already completed and sometimes for assignments that weren’t meant for them.  I’m terribly sorry that happened – I know that my kids (both my biological children and my students) are getting slammed right now with email notifications from Google Classroom, Remind, FlipGrid, you name it – so I’ve fixed that bug, along with another one that created duplicate accounts when students used a Registration code.  It turns out that spelling is important, not only in real life, but in programming as well! 🤦🏻‍♂️

Thanks to your feedback, I’ve also fixed a number of other bugs:

  • students could not retake quizzes even when the assignment was set to allow them to retake
  • teachers couldn’t update student passwords
  • student names were not sorting properly in the Dashboard > Users page due to capitalization issues
  • any student answer with neptunium in the Nuclear Reactions Quiz was marked as wrong, even it was correct (that was a weird one!)

I’ve also been told that some students are not receiving ChemQuiz.net registration emails, either because their district blocks it or the email went to their Spam folder, so I wanted to let everyone know that I wrote lots of documentation for the website, including how to reset a student password.  However, you’re welcome to have students contact me, either by filling out the Contact form or by emailing me directly at chris@chemquiz.net, and I will gladly take care of their password issues for you.

There’s good news besides bug fixes.  Several of you have asked me to be able to filter and sort your Quiz Results and your Users list, so I was able to add those features today.  You can sort some columns by clicking on the header of that table, and you can filter results by class, student or assignment by using the dropdown menus.  I hope this helps you keep track of your students’ progress a little more easily!  The sorting feature involves JavaScript, which I’m really not good with, so if you’re having any issues with it, let me know.

If you feel ChemQuiz.net is useful for your students, please continue to tell other teachers about the site!  If you’re on Twitter, please consider following me at @ChemQuizDotNet.  I haven’t had the time to tweet much lately, but I hope to share tips and tricks for using the site in the near future.

One last fun fact: the most popular quiz on the site this past week was the Significant Figures Quiz, with over 5,000 visits!

Sig Figs are popular on ChemQuiz.net but not in Chemistry class

This makes sense since sig figs are such an important fundamental concept in Chemistry (that every Chemistry student hates until they take a college lab course and finally understand why some numbers matters and others don’t).

Thanks again for all of your patience and support as I iron out the bugs and try to make ChemQuiz.net easier to use for teachers and their students.  I appreciate all of the feedback I’ve received so far, so please feel free to email me at chris@chemquiz.net if you’re having any issues or if you have an idea for a new feature or quiz.  Good luck this upcoming week, and stay safe!