Plus Minus Grades: Finer or Finest Scales?

Submitted by Shirley Lin / United States Naval Academy on Thu, 04/16/2015 - 10:32

Hello, VIPEr community!

The US Naval Academy is among a very small fraction of schools who still use only whole letter grades (A, B, C, D, F). Our faculty senate is currently discussing recommending to change our system to include + and - grades. Given the current faculty polls, this change is almost certain to pass within the Senate. However, there is a debate going on between using a "finer" or "finest" scale.

Finer: A, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, F

Finest: A, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-. D+, D, F


Invitation to participate in aligning inorganic chemistry with the Anchoring Concept Content Map

Submitted by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University on Thu, 02/26/2015 - 09:39

Dear IONiC,

I wanted to pass along this invitation to participate in aligning the content from inorganic chemistry to the Anchoring Concept Content Map that Kristen Murphy from the ACS Exams Institute is working on. There will be two meetings at the upcoming Denver ACS Meeting. Please take a look at her invitation, and if your schedule permits and you’re able to participate, I encourage you to attend. 





Submitted by Chip Nataro / Lafayette College on Mon, 02/23/2015 - 09:28

It looks like I will have a local high school student spending some time in my lab this summer. This appears to be the catalyst to an avalanche because to do this I am going to have to have a thorough background check run (I am confident I will pass). Apparently, we are going to have to do this for anyone that will be interacting with high school students or minors. So essentially, it will be the whole college. I am just learning about this as I type. It looks like we have Penn State to thank for this.


Alumni survey help?

Submitted by Joanne Stewart / Hope College on Fri, 01/16/2015 - 16:05

Does anyone do an alumni survey in their department? Do you get helpful information from it? We are thinking about trying to do one for students who are maybe 5 years and 10 years out. We want to know what kinds of gaps they feel we have in our program.

I would appreciate any examples you have. You can send them to me at Thanks!


tips on sabbatical?

Submitted by Jeremiah / Plymouth State University on Mon, 11/10/2014 - 22:58

so I'm hoping to take my first sabbatical next year, and I'd like to spend it somewhere getting my hands dirty with some research.  I have the option of a semester (at full pay) or a year (at half pay), but either way I probably need to apply for some supplemental funds for travel and living expenses.  Just wondering if anybody has any tips or advice on whether I should take a semester or a whole year, where I might find funding, and how to best find a lab to work in? */ /*-->*/


Multiple choice questions for Inorganic Chemistry quizzes

Submitted by Poloxymetman / Canisius College on Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:22

I would like to creste a collection into which any inorganic faculty could deposit his/her multiple choice questions appropriate for quizzes in inorganic chemistry course. In my sophomore level IC course I give 5 quizzes, a test, 5 quizzes, a test, and the final. I am slowly running out of ideas for new types of multiple choice questions for my quizzes. Each of my quizzes has 5 MC questions, and the students get 10-15 minutes, so around 3 minutes per question.


Graduating Seniors Survey: What Questions Should be Asked?

Submitted by Sabrina Sobel / Hofstra University on Sat, 04/19/2014 - 14:49

I want to start accumulating information about student experiences for outcomes assessment. Please suggest good questions to ask, besides the obvious. In the future, I plan to send surveys to alumni as well. Thanks! -Sabrina