30 Jun 2015

Nomenclature of Coordination Complexes using Automated Response Systems

In-Class Activity

Submitted by James Kirby, Quinnipiac University
Topics Covered: 

A set of questions to intersperse in lectures OR to use as a means of student guided learning of nomenclature.

Learning Goals: 

In answering these questions, a student will:

review naming and formulas for simple salts;

name coordination complexes;

determine formulas from names of complexes.

Equipment needs: 

If you do not have a method of polling students online, you can use index cards for answers OR just have students write down answers.

Implementation Notes: 

There are a few methods of using polling in classes:


1)  As an end of chapter “quiz”  --  this would replace giving a paper quiz;

2)  As a preview set of questions to see what you need to discuss more in a lecture format, followed by lecture and recap questions to see what was learned.  (The recap questions do NOT have to be different questions, but not all of your recap questions need to be used in your preview.)

3)  Ask the question; give students one minute to answer without discussion; show results and have students discuss the question/answer for a few minutes and ask the question again.  If students are still not all correct, discuss what and why the correct answer.

Time Required: 
Method 1 above: 10 - 15 minutes; Method 2: 20 - 30 minutes; Method 3: 50 - 75 minutes (a full class)
Evaluation Methods: 

Using Automated Response System with questions inserted in PowerPoint lectures and exam questions related to the topic.

Evaluation Results: 

Since using the original questions, I have edited choices.  However, I have used earlier versions in 2011 and 2013.


In 2011 (15 students), I used Method 3 for instruction.  The questions that I asked were Q6, and Q11 as written and Q8, Q9 and Q10 with fewer choices.  The results (percentage of students with correct answers, most common answer when it wasn’t the correct one):

preview questions:  Q6 (80), Q8 (60), Q9 (47), Q10 (7, choice #1), Q11 (33).

review questions:  Q6 (92), Q8 (92), Q9 (62).

additional review (after finishing entire chapter):  Q8 (87), Q10 (33, choice #2).


I had fewer questions in 2013 (8 students) due to time constraints, but did it in a similar fashion.

preview:  Q9 (0, choices 1&5 tied), Q10 (14, choice #1)

review:  Q8 (100), Q10 (17, choice #1)

Note:  percentages may vary from expected values due to student attendance on a given day.


Finally, in 2013, the ACS Inorganic Chemistry Exam was given.  Only ONE question related to the topic.  4 out of 8 students correctly selected the correct answer on the exam.

Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence

The VIPEr community supports respectful and voluntary sharing. Click here for a description of our default Creative Commons license.