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Rice University

General Chemistry: Concept Development and Application

Rice University via Coursera


This course will cover the topics of a full year, two semester General Chemistry course. We will use a free on-line textbook, Concept Development Studies in Chemistry, available via Rice’s Connexions project.

The fundamental concepts in the course will be introduced via the Concept Development Approach developed at Rice University. In this approach, we will develop the concepts you need to know from experimental observations and scientific reasoning rather than simply telling you the concepts and then asking you to simply memorize or apply them.

So why use this approach?

One reason is that most of us are inductive learners, meaning that we like to make specific observations and then generalize from there. Many of the most significant concepts in Chemistry are counter-intuitive. When we see where those concepts come from, we can more readily accept them, explain them, and apply them.

A second reason is that scientific reasoning in general and Chemistry reasoning in particular are inductive processes. This Concept Development approach illustrates those reasoning processes.

A third reason is that this is simply more interesting! The structure and reactions of matter are fascinating puzzles to be solved by observation and reasoning. It is more fun intellectually when we can solve those puzzles together, rather than simply have the answers to the riddles revealed at the outset.

Recommended Background:
The class can be taken by someone with no prior experience in chemistry. However, some prior familiarity with the basics of chemistry is desirable as we will cover some elements only briefly. For example, a prior high school chemistry class would be helpful.

Suggested Readings:
Readings will be assigned from the on-line textbook “Concept Development Studies in Chemistry”, available via Rice’s Connexions project. In addition, we will suggest readings from any of the standard textbooks in General Chemistry. A particularly good free on-line resource is Dickerson, Gray, and Haight, "Chemical Principles, 3rd Edition". Links to these two texts will be available in the Introduction module.

Taught by

John Hutchinson


4.2 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

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    Mystery Life
    Random user has completed this course. I found this course to be really helpful. It helped me learn a lot of new things that I had a hard time learning on other websites.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Course is very useful for developing basic concept i chemistry.It is challenging and requires effort.It is useful for developing concept for two years Masters program.The course is planned well and delivered in a most professional way. It's apparent that a lot of work went into creating this course.The lectures are well structured and presented, and the background reading material is excellent.I learned the molecule theory and atomic structure,chemical reaction and chemical equilibrium.
  • Jonathan Golland completed this course.

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  • Mohamed Baymie Ibrahim Elmasry

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