Welcome back! I hope those of you who were on summer break got lots of rest and relaxation so that you’re ready to tackle the upcoming school year.
In this newsletter, I’ve included important information about the following topics:
- *NEW* Chemical Thermodynamics Quiz!
- *NEW* website: PhysQuiz.net!
- Upgraded web hosting for faster quiz loading
- New features & bug fixes
- Site licenses for the ChemQuiz.net Dashboard
There’s lots of new stuff to cover, so let’s get started!
- determine change in entropy (ΔS°) and Gibbs free energy (ΔG°) in chemical reactions
- determine if chemical reactions are spontaneous or nonspontaneous
- calculate chemical equilibrium constants (K) and reaction quotients (Q) from free energy values
- aligns with Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations “HS-PS1-4: Matter and its Interactions” and “HS-PS3-1: Energy”
This new quiz should help your students in advanced or second year Chemistry courses to get a better grasp on some really challenging thermodynamics concepts, so check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks to Kristen for suggesting the quiz!
*NEW* website: PhysQuiz.net!
- Science Fundamentals
- Kinematics (position & motion)
- Dynamics (forces, momentum & energy)
- Circular Motion and Gravitation
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Waves & Optics
- Modern Physics
PhysQuiz.net uses the same Dashboard as ChemQuiz.net, so you’ll still have the ability to create assignments with the settings you choose and collect quiz results from your students. You can fill out this short form to sign up for a free 30-day demo of the PhysQuiz.net Dashboard!
I tried to cover the topics that are found in a typical first-year algebra-based high school Physics course that align with the NGSS Performance Expectations, but I’m also planning to add quizzes this upcoming school year for fluids as well as more thermodynamics and modern physics. Our school brought back AP Physics 2 and I’m teaching it again, so I’m highly motivated to add those topics! I also want to add more diagrams and graphs to the quizzes, because I learned a lot about scalable vector graphics (SVGs) while writing the Vector Calculations and Motion Graphs quizzes, and I’m really happy with how they turned out.
Just like ChemQuiz.net, a full site license for the PhysQuiz.net Dashboard is US$50 per school year, and I offer discounts for multiple secondary schools within the same district or multiple instructions within the same college or university. If you also subscribe to the ChemQuiz.net Dashboard, you’ll get a 50% discount so that PhysQuiz.net is only US$25 per school year! Current subscribers can use Square to purchase an add-on license here, or you can purchase licenses for both sites here. I can also accept payment through a variety of other methods, including school purchase orders, so please reach out if you want to get that process started or have any questions.
I want PhysQuiz.net to be useful to as many teachers and students as possible, so if you teach at a high poverty public high school or school district with at least 50% of your students on free/reduced lunch or labeled “economically disadvantaged”, you qualify for a free site license! Just fill out the PhysQuiz.net Dashboard interest form and include a link to your school’s demographic information. I’ll also be running a separate monthly newsletter for PhysQuiz.net, so if you’re interested in news and updates about the site, please fill out this short form or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
More powerful web hosting for ChemQuiz.net
In mid-July, I migrated ChemQuiz.net to a new web hosting company (Scalahosting, for those who are interested) and upgraded to a “virtual private server” that gives ChemQuiz.net way more speed and power than it ever had before! As the site has become more popular, it was obvious that it had outgrown its humble beginnings and needed more resources.
For example, this past school year (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023), 9038 students from 118 schools completed 2393 different assignments given by 143 different teachers for a total of 152,668 quiz results. To put it in perspective, that’s seven times as many quiz results as the previous school year, and that only counts students who completed assignments through the ChemQuiz.net Dashboard!
If you were using ChemQuiz.net with your students this summer during the week of the site migration, I really appreciate your patience as I did my best to work out some of the weird, unforeseen issues that popped up as a result of the move. I believe it’s going to put the site in a much better position to keep providing practice quizzes to science teachers and their students all over the world!
New quiz features & bug fixes
In between writing 22 new physics quizzes 😅 and migrating the entire website 😵💫, I was able to add some new features to ChemQuiz.net and also fix some bugs:
Dashboard – these features and bug fixes also apply to PhysQuiz.net
- added a “last access” parameter in the Dashboard so teachers can see when students last used the site
- added the ability for teachers to use preview, printable and presentation modes on exemplar assignments
- fixed a bug where preview links were broken on the Assignments page
- fixed a bug where sharing an assignment with a colleague would exclude specific quiz options (thanks, Helen!)
- fixed a nasty bug where custom assignment names, instructions to students and notes were truncated whenever apostrophes or quotation marks were used
- fixed a bug on the Grades page where the chosen class was “forgotten” when clicking the “Next>>” button (thanks, Don!)
- fixed a bug where class status (e.g. “Active” or “Inactive”) wasn’t showing up on the Classes page
- fixed a bug where selecting “lock after close” for an assignment that had no closing date would prevent students from taking the assignment
- fixed several other minor appearance and user experience bugs
- sometimes when a student entered a number in scientific notation incorrectly, the quiz would show their entry as “1f x 10”, so now it shows what they entered without attempting to reformat it (thanks, Mary Ann!)
- teacher instructions in some assignments were incorrectly triggering a false positive in the site’s security software (thanks, Don!)
- added “(where applicable)” to solution setup directions for some quizzes
- pH was incorrectly calculated as 14 when given a concentration and % ionization in certain situations involving bases (thanks, Mary Ann!)
- option to show solution setups wasn’t activated (oops!)
- exemplar assignments were not displaying selected options in the Dashboard
- positron decays with additional products were generating too many nuclides
- exemplar assignments were not displaying selected options in the Dashboard
- added an option to show molar masses in questions (thanks, Monica and Malcolm!)
- added an option to show molar masses in questions (thanks again, Monica and Malcolm!)
Other bug fixes
- Persistent Login WordPress plugin broke the Google login button and slowed down the site (thanks, Don!)
- student registration form wasn’t interpreting school expiration dates correctly (thanks, Mary Ann!)
- other “under the hood” improvements
I keep track of every bug or issue that gets reported as well as every new quiz suggestion that’s sent in, so I’m going to continue to do my best to address those throughout the school year. ChemQuiz.net has improved significantly over the past three years thanks to the bug reports and suggestions sent in by teachers and students alike, so please keep sending them in!
Site licenses for the ChemQuiz.net Dashboard
Thank you to everyone who has already renewed or purchased a new school’s site license for the ChemQuiz.net Dashboard for the 2023-2024 school year! Site licenses are how I pay for the web hosting and the software I use to write the quizzes, and it keeps the website ad-free. Back in the spring, I sent out invoices for this upcoming school year to everyone who had previously purchased a site license, but if you didn’t receive one, please let me know.
Site licenses for the ChemQuiz.net Dashboard from the 2022-2023 school year expired on July 1st, which means that teachers at those schools won’t be able to create new student accounts, classes or assignments. If you plan on renewing for the upcoming school year but need a little extra time for paperwork to go through your local bureaucracy, just drop me a line and I’ll extend your school’s expiration date to September 1st.
If you’d like to purchase a ChemQuiz.net site license for the 2023-2024 school year for just US$50, you can pay through a school purchase order or personal check, or via CashApp, PayPal, Venmo or Zelle at email@example.com, or by credit card through Square. Remember, you can also bundle a license for the PhysQuiz.net Dashboard for just US$25 more! Please contact me if you have any questions about site licenses or how to purchase one.
I am fully committed to expanding access to STEM education for students in communities that lack the traditional resources to be successful, so if you teach in a high poverty public school or school district (at least 50% of your students on free/reduced lunch or designated “economically disadvantaged”), please send me a link to the supporting documentation and you’ll get a free site license for the ChemQuiz.net Dashboard forever. (PhysQuiz.net, too!)
Help me share ChemQuiz.net with the world!
If you like using ChemQuiz.net, there are three quick and easy things that you can do to help me promote the site!
- Follow @ChemQuizDotNet on The Site Formerly Known as Twitter, on The Site Still Known as Facebook and on Threads and share my updates with your fellow Chemistry teachers!
- Tell another Chemistry teacher about ChemQuiz.net and encourage them to try out the Dashboard!
- Add your school to the list of supporters on the About page! Go to the ChemQuiz.net Dashboard, click on “Your Info” in the top menu bar, check the box next to “Display School on ChemQuiz.net“, and click the “Update Your Info” button.
This upcoming week, my wife and I are traveling to the Green Mountains of Vermont to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! We’ve never been to Vermont before, so we’re really looking forward to making the trip before school starts the following week. Maybe we’ll run into Bernie Sanders while we’re there?
Thanks so much for your support over the past three years! Please feel free to get in touch with me via the Contact form or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. Here’s hoping that this upcoming school year is the best one we’ve had in a long time – we could all use it!