Watching an instructor solve a problem in class or video certainly means that you understand the basic ideas.  That’s great, but it represents the lowest level of understanding according to cognitive models.  These courses require problem solving and applying knowledge at much higher levels of learning.  As a student, YOU have to be able to solve the problems.  The electronic homework questions give the students several attempts, often with intervening hints or tutorials.  Simply remembering the question and answer is typically not very useful because almost any variation can’t be solved by this strategy.  Why am I doing these steps?  What simple changes will I recognize and what adjustments need to be made in my process?  The general chemistry program uses a form of homework or self-assessment called “progress checks”.  These give students alternative questions but only one attempt to test their skills.  In addition, the textbook has substantial numbers of end-of-chapter problems with which to practice.  Recognizing the material in a variety of forms and devising a plan of action are the skills to achieve.

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