Comments on Unit 2 - Basic Chemistry

I’m working on Unit 2 of Bio101, Basic Chemistry and I had some comments about the content.

I felt there was a bit of jump between the videos for “more on orbitals and electron configuration” and “valence electrons” as in “Valence electrons” then he’s talking about “backfilling” the previous shell with electrons, and the central section of the periodic table, but he hadn’t got up to that in the previous video. There’s another video he did where he explains it but its not in the course.

This jump is in strong contrast with the first three sections of Unit 2 which were very repetitive - about the basic atomic structure and protons, neutrons, and electrons. So its quite inconsistent in pace and difficulty.

I hope this feedback is useful.

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Thank you; I’ve shared with the team!

Thinking about this section further, I think it would be a great place for a small test to check my understanding - either a computer based one or a list of problems with answers to do as exercises. It seems like something I’d really like to work through a few times with some different examples to make sure I’m doing the right thing with the right numbers.

I am so excited today to get back into the course after having a few days off by the way. I am really loving it. Pity school and university was not so exciting to me. The interface (which I believe is provided via moodle?) is also very clean and easy to use and I love the very visible course progress box - very motivating to have that slowly fill up!

In the section “Isotopes, Ions and Molecules” the reading starts with

After you read, see if you can answer these questions: What makes ionic bonds different from covalent bonds? Why are hydrogen bonds and van der Waals interactions necessary for cells? How do buffers help prevent drastic swings in pH? Why can some insects walk on water? What property of carbon makes it essential for organic life? Compare and contrast saturated and unsaturated triglycerides.

However, other than the first two questions, none of these are addressed in the text, unless I missed a whole section somehow.

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Sometimes you have to Google the question? All those questions are on Google verbatum.

This was something that bothered me too. I went through the section knowing that I had to answer those, and I was so perplexed that those questions were never answered. I even hit control+F to see how many times triglycerides were mentioned, and their only mention was in that question.

An overall observation for the unit that I had was that it went extremely in depth, but then the practice quiz seemed almost too easy given the course material?