October 2023 newsletter: essential site resources, bug fixes, and more!

Hi there! I hope that the school year has started well for all of you, and with any luck, your students are settling down into your classroom routines now that we’ve made it to October.

In this newsletter, I’ve included important information about these topics:

  • Essential site resources for teachers
  • New features & bug fixes
  • Site licenses for the Dashboard (and!)

Essential site resources for teachers

Welcome to the 30 new schools and their teachers who have signed up for the Dashboard during the month of September! That’s an average of one new school per day. By comparison, there were 79 schools that signed up in the site’s entire first year of existence (2020-2021), so I’m glad to see that interest in continues to grow.

With so many teachers joining the community of 225 high schools, tutors, colleges and universities that are using Dashboard, I wanted to point out some essential resources and features that I’ve created to make the site as easy to use as possible: Documentation – Step-by-step instructions on how to do just about everything on the site, including the multiple ways to create student accounts and how to change their passwords, which are two of the most common actions at the start of the school year. If you’re not sure of how to do something, check here first!

Assignment exemplars – The Dashboard contains pre-made assignments for each of the quizzes under the “Exemplars” menu to try to make life easier for teachers! The exemplars are broken out by nine major topics in chemistry, and you can make a copy of any of them for your students by clicking the “make a copy” link”. You can also preview them, generate printable versions for a quick worksheet, or load them in presentation mode for a bell ringer activity or full class review. All of the exemplars start with 10 questions and have a threshold of 8 correct answers to pass, but you can modify these values when you make your own copies. Please note that exemplars are only available to teachers with active Dashboard licenses.

Contact form – If you can’t find the answer you need in the documentation, or if you come across a bug that’s causing the Dashboard or a quiz to behave strangely, please reach out and let me know! I try my best to resolve bugs as quickly as possible, and I want the site to be useful and accurate for you and your students, so drop me a line any time. You can also email me directly at Even if I can’t fix the issue immediately, I want to hear about it so I can continue to improve the site. (Like most of you, I’m a full-time high school teacher, so I appreciate your patience as I can only respond outside of school hours.)

I hope these resources help you get the most out of! If you think of something that will make the site better for you and your fellow Chemistry colleagues, please let me know.

New features & bug fixes

I’m teaching five preps this year 😱, including three different levels of Computer Science, so while I haven’t had a lot of time to write any new quizzes, I’ve tracked down and fixed a number of bugs that have been pointed out by your fellow teachers.

Dashboard – these features and bug fixes also apply to

  • new feature: improved the Quiz Results filter menus
  • new feature: teachers can now create copies of assignments shared by colleagues (thanks, Bill and Sarah!)
  • new feature: added a “Export” top menu item and removed the redundant “All Quizzes” menu item
  • bug fix: student results were not showing up for teachers if the assignment was created for a shared class by another teacher (thanks again, Bill and Sarah!)
  • bug fix: teachers couldn’t see filter menus or checkboxes when all their results had been archived (thanks, Andrew!)
  • bug fix: teachers could unintentionally create a duplicate student account with an already existing username, which could cause login issues (thanks, Lauren!)
  • bug fix: teachers couldn’t add a student to a class when directly editing their account (thanks, Dorothy!)
  • maintenance: removed option for email notifications due to past spam issues

All Quizzes

  • maintenance: updated all quizzes to directly pass the generated question to the grading page; this was a first step in adding a feature for students to save a quiz so they can come back to it later

Average Atomic Masses Quiz

  • bug fix: students couldn’t retake a quiz because the database wasn’t storing the correct given values (thanks, Ann!)
  • bug fix: selecting ones place precision caused the quiz to crash 🤦🏻‍♂️

Balancing, Identifying & Predicting Chemical Equations Quiz

  • new feature: added an option for text input boxes for coefficients so that it’s a little easier to use on mobile devices

Chemical Thermodynamics Quiz

  • bug fix: some calculations for ΔG used R without converting to kJ first (thanks, Aaron!)
  • bug fix: updated quiz language to use “thermodynamically favorable” instead of “spontaneous” (thanks, Susan!)

Electron Configuration Quiz

  • new feature: added an option to limit elements to 1-56 (thanks, Malcolm!)
  • new feature: added an option to exclude elements that violate the Madelung rule (thanks again, Malcolm!)

Laboratory Equipment Quiz

  • maintenance: changed how images are generated, which should help the quiz load faster

Lewis Dot Structures Quiz

  • bug fix: Lewis dot diagrams weren’t loading due to an XML parsing error (thanks, Cori!)

Types of Matter Quiz

  • bug fix: students were being prevented from retaking the quiz through Dashboard (thanks, Katie!)

Molar Conversions Quiz

  • bug fix: the “Load More Problems Like This” button generated blank problems when I changed how the questions were displayed

Naming Compounds & Calculating Molar Masses Quiz

  • bug fix: molar mass entries by students were not being passed by the form (thanks, Corey!)
  • bug fix: the “Load More Problems Like This” button generated blank problems when I changed how the questions were displayed
  • bug fix: fixed table layouts when choosing molar masses or both question types

Organic Nomenclature Quiz

  • bug fix: most multiple choice options were blank for class questions (thanks, Alan!)
  • maintenance: changed how images are generated, which should help the quiz load faster

Scientific Notation Quiz

  • bug fix: multiple choice options for sig fig questions weren’t valid due to the commas added to large numbers (thanks, Dorothy!)

Stoichiometry & Limiting Reagents Quiz

  • bug fix: student responses weren’t being compared correctly to the rounded answer (thanks, Don!)

Thermochemical Equations Quiz

  • bug fix: solution setups erroneously included a mole ratio when it wasn’t needed  (thanks, James!)

Other improvements

  • purchased an additional CPU to improve site speed
  • changed PHP-FPM configuration to prevent server lockups

I keep track of every bug or issue that gets reported as well as every new quiz suggestion that’s sent in, so I’ll continue to address those as they come in. New features and quizzes can take a while to develop properly, and some bugs are easier to fix than others, so I appreciate your patience! has improved significantly over the past three years thanks to all the teachers and students who have sent in reports, so please keep sending them in!

Site licenses for the Dashboard

Site licenses for the Dashboard allow teachers to create assignments for their students and track their progress. Thanks so much to the 90 schools and tutors who have renewed or purchased a site license for the 2023-2024 school year! Site licenses are how I pay for the web hosting and the software I use to write and maintain the quizzes, and it keeps the website ad-free.

If you’d like to purchase a site license for the 2023-2024 school year for just US$50, you can pay in the following ways:

  • credit card through Square (the most popular option)
  • school purchase order (contact me for a sales quote – I’m happy to fill out any paperwork required by your school, district or state (I’m looking at you, Illinois!))
  • personal check
  • CashApp, PayPal, Venmo or Zelle at

Remember, site licenses are by building, so one license applies to every teacher and student in your entire school! Additional schools in the same district can purchase an add-on license for just US$25 per school.

If you also teach physics or you have a colleague who does, you can bundle a site license for the Dashboard for just US$25 more! Please contact me if you have any questions about how to purchase a site license.

Remember, if you teach in a high poverty public school or 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 Dashboard forever (, too!).

Help me share with the world!

If you like using, there are three quick and easy things that you can do to help me promote the site!

  • Add your school to the list of supporters on the About page! Go to the Dashboard, click on “Your Info” in the top menu bar, check the box next to “Display School on“, and click the “Update Your Info” button.
  • Tell another Chemistry teacher about and encourage them to try out the Dashboard!
  • Follow @ChemQuizDotNet on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and Threads and share my updates with your fellow Chemistry teachers!

I mentioned earlier that I’m teaching five preps, which makes it a little challenging to know what I’m doing from one class period to the next 😅, but one free resource that has really helped me out is Carnegie Mellon University’s CS Academy. If you have any students who are interested in coding, or if you’re looking to bring computer science to your school, their curriculum is great! We use their CS1 curriculum for our “Intro to CS” course, and I’ve had students complete it on their own as an independent study. Debugging student code in CS Academy has actually helped me find and fix the bugs on, so I figured they deserved a shout out!

Thanks so much for your continued support of! I hope you’re all hitting your stride this fall, and please feel free to reach out any time via the Contact form or at if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. Take care!