Chevron Left
Back to General Chemistry: Concept Development and Application

Learner Reviews & Feedback for General Chemistry: Concept Development and Application by Rice University

985 ratings

About the Course

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....

Top reviews


Invalid date

This is an outstanding course. The concepts are explained clearly, and the problem sets tie everything together.


Invalid date

If I'd had access to this material when I first failed freshman chemistry 40 years ago, I probably wouldn't have failed. Kudos to Dean Hutchinson for bringing us his innovative approach.

Filter by:

51 - 75 of 248 Reviews for General Chemistry: Concept Development and Application

By M.R.T.

Jun 17, 2019

Perfect MOOC

By Nagaraj P

Apr 22, 2020


By Leonor P A J

Feb 28, 2017

muy bueno

By José L D D

Feb 11, 2017


By Johnny S

Dec 29, 2016



Mar 23, 2019



Aug 20, 2019


By 刘诗凡

May 13, 2018


By Fabricio Y A

Sep 12, 2015


By Deleted A

Oct 25, 2015


By Steven M J M

Oct 23, 2015


By David D

Mar 14, 2020

I took the course "General Chemistry: Concept Development and Application" from Dec 2019 - Mar 2020. I found this to be an excellent course on many levels. First, I thought the educational theory of the course was outstanding. Beginning each unit with empirical data, building from these to create a model (inductive reasoning), and then applying/adapting the model to answer questions/solve problems (deductive reasoning), was fantastic. I took general chemistry for the first time 40 years ago, and was taught using a strictly deductive reasoning approach - and honestly I really didn't like chemistry all that much. It seemed stale and boring. To my great surprise however I found that when I became a practicing chemist in industry, I totally loved chemistry! This love has deepened and broadened throughout my career. I applaud Prof. Hutchinson on creating this course and making it available on Coursera.

Second, I think the course structure was outstanding. It seems to me that the entire course aim was to get the student to understand that at equilibrium, delta G^0 = -RTlnKp. Each unit in the course introduced data and theories which led to this powerful relationship between thermodynamics and equilibrium. I relearned concepts and equations from my past and came to understand and appreciate them in new ways.

I could not give the course 5 stars however due to the many errors I found throughout. There were errors in what was said in the lectures, errors in what was hand written in the lectures, and most importantly errors in quiz questions and answers. Some of the quiz questions had no correct answer option at all. Other quiz questions/answers were very poorly worded. Fortunately I had a chemistry career to fall back up when confronted with these errors. However I have concern for those taking this course as their very first introduction to chemistry. It could be very frustrating and confusing to these individuals. A thorough review and correction of the course lectures and quizzes would be most beneficial.

Despite these limitations - I heartily recommend this course to any wishing to get an introduction to fundamental chemistry concepts and principles. It allows the student the understand where our current understanding of chemistry came from and how this is applied in current chemical research.

By Cliff S

Oct 23, 2016

Excellent introduction to Chemistry, focused on models which allow you to understand all of the empirical rules/laws. However, it appears to be an older course and some of the quizzes were effected by Cousera upgrades and they are corrupted and some questions can't be answered (as in some cases there are actually no choices given!).

By Edmund E

May 21, 2020

The calculations questions need practice questions within the material rather than just in the assessment components otherwise excellent.

By hakan b

Feb 11, 2017

How can i get certificate please

By John R

Aug 3, 2020

I didn't Recieve Certificate after completion

By Lesli F

Sep 24, 2015

While the visual set up is well thought out (you can see the instructor, slides and writing space, the setup of course materials is too stringent for the beginning chemist. More time seems to be needed focusing on the basics of chemistry and chemistry math (such as how to read CH4, sig figs, etc) prior to testing on stoichiometry.

By Vinit K

Jun 8, 2020

first they tell there is a certificate then they wont provide it this isnt fair...........

By Kathleen P

Nov 15, 2015

Too many mistakes in the math. I dropped after a week

By Don C

Mar 28, 2022

Being an 81 year old guy who last took a college chemistry class 64 years ago at UC Berkeley, I have found this course presented in a very impressive manner by Prof. Hutchinson. His clear and concise dialog was excellent, and his concept development approach was always involving. Over the past years I've taken some 40+ Coursera courses, and would rank this one as number one.

By Al N

Aug 31, 2021

I've enjoyed this course due to the professor's use of logic, reasoning, sign-posting, foretelling etc. to progress through the topics. Due to the professor's teaching techniques I am able to actually conceptually understand more difficult topics as we go along, rather than just memorising and rote-learning. Thank you!

By MR. N P

Jun 20, 2020

I think this is the biggest platforms to learn at home by the COURSERA. And I hope u guys get such a wonderful details about CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT knowledge for those people who actually wants to make different from the different.

Thanks to Prof.Hutchiston who spread their anormous knowledge of Basic Chemistry.

By Alnardo T

Oct 29, 2020

the lessons is related to so much on a highschool lesson because of that , i can keep up with the lesson and i'm not find it difficult to misunderstanding the video lesson. But sometimes the quiz is not hard or not easy just normal, in addition to the quiz is so easy and so hard on the other lesson.

By Jimmy O

Jul 30, 2020

Very well presented course with an excellent free textbook to study with. My only complaint is that the quizzes sometimes include questions from chapters outside of the section, but I'm still giving 5 stars because the quality of everything else is so good.

By Malcolm W

May 24, 2020

The second half is not as polished as the first half. However, I still found this useful as this encourages engaged learning and worked well with the constructivist philosophy of the course. Overall, an excellent experience.