Straight Talk from AP Chemistry Students about College Board's "AP Insight: Chemistry" Teaching Tools and Assessments

The College Board offers the opportunity to have access to guided inquiry "Building Block" performance tasks, "Building Block" digital assessments, and FRQ-style end of "Building Block" assessments directed specifically at nine "challenge areas." The "challenge areas" are organized according to the AP Chemistry six big ideas. I have used most of the resources available in AP Insight this year with my honors and AP chemistry students. Today, post-AP exam, I asked the students to provide me with feedback about the usefulness of those resources.

Student Evaluation of AP Insight Guided Inquiry Performance Tasks:

Question: Now that you've seen the AP exam, were the AP Insight guided inquiry packets helpful?

  • "...The packets helped to train our minds to do the mental gymnastics College Board requires. They are good in a classroom setting, but are not enough on their own." (10th grade, male, AP Chemistry)
  • "Yes. They were helpful. They taught the content with a higher level of thinking." (10th grade, male, AP Chemistry)
  • "AP Insight was extremely helpful! It provided numerous examples and information that appeared similar to the exam (such as with diagrams) and helped me understand higher level concepts. (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "AP Insight on its own is not great, but if the teacher is capable of explaining the information in the packet well, then I think it is very helpful."  (10th grade, male, AP Chemistry)
  • "YES! They really mimicked the style of the exam. I felt comfortable with the style of the exam. I would use them as a teacher." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "Independently, no. Without the teacher's aid and explanation, the AP Insight packets were kind of confusing and I wouldn't be able to complete the assignments." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "...the packets were more difficult than the exam." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)

Student Evaluation of AP Insight Digital Quizzes:

Question: Now that you've seen the AP exam, were the AP Insight digital quizzes helpful?

  • "The AP exam was nothing like the guided inquiry packets. The digital quizzes are worded just like the AP questions." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "Yes, they were worded in the same way as the exam." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "Yes, they gave me an idea of where I stood concerning the amount of information I understood and use to answer the questions. As a teacher, I would use them a lot." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "They did help with multile choice and helped me understand wording and what they were asking." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "I would use them if I were the teacher but not for a grade. I would probably use them as practice before tests or the exam." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "I felt the questions were not like the questions on the AP test." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "No, they just made me scared about the exam." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)

Student Evaluation of AP Insight FRQ-Style Challenge Area Assessments:

Question: Now that you've seen the AP exam, were the AP Insight FRQ-style challenge area assessments helpful?

  • "There were very helpful. They always helped me understand/review the unit we were learning. I would use them to review the material, and I would discuss them in class if I were the teacher." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "I loved the FRQ packets. They always took the material one step further which is excellent as the exam did the same. The AP exam focuses on harder topics. It expects you to learn the harder things and then throws completely new and even higher level thinking that doesn't seem possible. The questions did the same." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "YES.  They were almost the same in the way they were set up/worded." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry)
  • "They were waaaaay harder than the AP exam." (10th grade, female, AP Chemistry) 
  • "They summarized the unit well." (10th grade, male, AP Chemistry)

In summary, my students overwhelming report "AP Insight: Chemistry" is useful in preparation for the AP Chemistry exam. I guess we'll see in July if their scores support the claims.

For your information, here are the challenge areas addressed with the program.

  • Big Idea 1: Structure of Matter
    • Challenge Area: Evaluate Scientific Models for Atomic Structure
  • Big Idea 2: Properties of Matter
    • Challenge Area: Connect IMFs and Physical Properties
    • Challenge Area: Explain Chemical Bonds
  • Big Idea 4: Rates of Chemical Reactions
    • Challenge Area: Evaluate Reaction Mechanisms and Rate Data
  • Big Idea 5:
    • Challenge Area: Connect Changes in H, S, and G to K
    • Challenge Area: Represent and Model Energy
  • Big Idea 6:
    • Challenge Area: Explain Equilibrium
    • Challenge Area: Relate Equilibrium Concepts to Acids and Bases
    • Challenge Area: Explain Buffer Systems