This worksheet gives students practice with deriving and analyzing the rate laws for two step mechanisms. It's a good review of steady-state kinetics, the assumptions one makes in deriving rate laws, and rate determining steps (and how these last affect the rate law). It finishes by connecting these ligand substitution kinetics to Michaelis-Menton kinetics to show that "it's all the same math, we just change the form".
A student should be able to derive rate laws for two step ligand substitution (or other, similar) mechanisms. I generally revisit this when we get to catalysis and organometallic mechanisms. They should have a clear conceptions of what rate determining steps are, and how they affect the rate law. They should be able to extract rate constants from data by making linear plots of kobs.
Most recently, I have asked them to derive a rate law from a literature article on a final exam, and they did extremely well, despite it being a fairly complicated example. Once they've practiced this skill a bit, they can master it. All students gave essentially correct answers.
Students generally do well on this. I have to lay out the steady-state approximation, how to generate the rate laws for elementary steps, and how to define kobs again (some never learned it in genchem, some have forgotten), but then they are off to the races. I put them in groups of three or four to work on this, and then we wrap up on the board. They have trouble with the idea that it's the realtive magnitude of the k-1 and k2 step that determine RDS, not the relative magnitudes of k1 and k2. They also have trouble with the idea that the rate determining step can change, but they buy in once they can see the math.