January 2021: The new year brings three new quizzes and lots of new features

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well, staying safe, and managing your sanity during this challenging school year. After having some time to work on over Winter Break, I wanted to send you an update to let you know about three new quizzes and a bunch of new features that I hope will make your lives a little easier.

First, the three new quizzes in alphabetical order:

  • Molar Conversions Quiz
    • convert between moles and a variety of units
    • chemical formulas or compound names; simple or word problems
  • Isotope Naming & Notation Quiz
    • name isotopes, determine isotope notation and count number of subatomic particles for hundreds of isotopes
  • Thermochemical Equations Quiz
    • over 100 thermochemical equations with heats of reactions
    • stoichiometry and limiting reagents problems
    • balanced and unbalanced equations; chemical formulas or names; grams and moles; percent yield
    • creating this quiz also added 192 new balanced chemical equations that are used by other quizzes for more variety!

I also added a new score correction feature to the Dashboard that allows you to override quiz items that has erroneously marked as incorrect. Just view the quiz result details, check the box(es) next to the items you’d like to mark as correct, and click the “Save Update” button at the bottom of the page. You can also leave feedback (comments) on quiz results that can be viewed by your students just like in other learning management systems. Another new Dashboard feature is the ability to archive old quiz results so they don’t show up in the list any more unless you want them to be displayed. This has no impact on whether or not a student can see their quiz results, because students can’t currently archive their results. Finally, by request, teachers now have the ability to filter their quiz results by class.

In addition to these new features and quizzes, I made two quick bug fixes, one giving teachers the ability to disable assignment email notifications to students (this option wasn’t displaying correctly before), and some beta decays in the Nuclear Reactions Quiz were generating way too many products, resulting in questions that violated the law of conservation of matter. Oops! There were also some little bug fixes thanks to teacher and student feedback that were mostly focused on simple mistakes, like a student putting an extra space before or after an answer that resulted in an item being marked incorrect when it shouldn’t have been.

The last new feature that I’ve added – reference sheets! For decades I’ve given my students various handouts of equations, ions, etc., as have many of you, but a teacher contacted me asking for a list of the polyatomic ions used the Naming Chemical Compounds Quiz, so I uploaded my reference sheets to Google Drive, updated and tweaked them, and I’ve made them available to you to use with your students. You can make copies in Google Docs or download them as Word documents and modify them however you like, or you can just download them as PDFs and print them for use in your own classroom (if you’re currently teaching in person, like I am). There are reference sheets for ions, common chemical equations, and SI prefixes, but if I’ve left out an important topic, ion, or equation, please let me now!

Finally, check out these cool website visitor stats:

Today (January 5th, 2021) represents the day with the greatest number of hits and unique visitors since began this past summer! You can also clearly see where Thanksgiving and especially Winter Break happened, which was great timing because I used that time to run all kinds of backend site maintenance. The most popular quiz to date? Naming Chemical Compounds, of course – the first one I wrote for my school blog so many years ago, which has had over 48,000 hits since August 1st.

I can’t thank you enough for all of your help finding and reporting bugs so I can fix them while also requesting features and suggesting new quizzes so that I can make the site better. If you’re new to, here are some quick and easy things you can also do to help make the site more popular:

I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy! We went back to face-to-face “hybrid” teaching today after temporarily going fully remote in early December, so with covid cases back on the rise due to the holidays, I’ve started wearing a KN95 mask under my cloth mask, and it was surprisingly comfortable compared to breathing through the PM2.5 carbon filters I inserted into my cloth masks for the first four months. They’re just so expensive – US$2 each in a 20 pack! – so if you have any hot tips for cheaper KN95’s, I’m all ears. Please feel free to drop me a line at any time at or by using the Contact form. Take care!