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The Acs Exams Institute Undergraduate Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map Iii: Inorganic Chemistry, Keith A. Marek, Jeffery R. Raker, Thomas A. Holme, Kristen L. Murphy Feb 2018

The Acs Exams Institute Undergraduate Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map Iii: Inorganic Chemistry, Keith A. Marek, Jeffery R. Raker, Thomas A. Holme, Kristen L. Murphy

Chemistry Publications

For the past eight years, the ACS Examinations Institute has been developing Anchoring Concepts Content Maps for the different subdisciplines taught throughout the undergraduate curriculum. The structure of the map consists of two top levels that are shared throughout the entire curriculum and two subdiscipline specific levels that contain finer-grained content details. This paper presents the four levels of the content map for inorganic chemistry.


The Acs Exams Institute Undergraduate Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map Iv: Physical Chemistry, Thomas A. Holme, Jessica J. Reed, Jeffrey R. Raker, Kristen L. Murphy Feb 2018

The Acs Exams Institute Undergraduate Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map Iv: Physical Chemistry, Thomas A. Holme, Jessica J. Reed, Jeffrey R. Raker, Kristen L. Murphy

Chemistry Publications

The ACS Examinations Institute has been developing Anchoring Concepts Content Maps to provide an organizational template for the four-year undergraduate chemistry curriculum. In order to accomplish this goal, specific subdisciplinary versions of the map share the two top levels but distinguish themselves at the bottom two levels which contain finer-grained content details. This structure has been refined and vetted over a number of meetings and workshops. This paper presents the four levels of the content map for physical chemistry.


Beyond “Inert” Ideas To Teaching General Chemistry From Rich Contexts: Visualizing The Chemistry Of Climate Change (Vc3), Peter G. Mahaffy, Thomas A. Holme, Leah Martin-Visscher, Brian E. Martin, Ashley Versprille, Mary Kirchhoff, Lallie Mckenzie, Marcy Towns Aug 2017

Beyond “Inert” Ideas To Teaching General Chemistry From Rich Contexts: Visualizing The Chemistry Of Climate Change (Vc3), Peter G. Mahaffy, Thomas A. Holme, Leah Martin-Visscher, Brian E. Martin, Ashley Versprille, Mary Kirchhoff, Lallie Mckenzie, Marcy Towns

Chemistry Publications

As one approach to moving beyond transmitting “inert” ideas to chemistry students, we use the term “teaching from rich contexts” to describe implementations of case studies or context-based learning based on systems thinking that provide deep and rich opportunities for learning crosscutting concepts through contexts. This approach nurtures the use of higher-order cognitive skills to connect concepts and apply the knowledge gained to new contexts. We describe the approach used to design a set of resources that model how rich contexts can be used to facilitate learning of general chemistry topics. The Visualizing the Chemistry of Climate Change (VC3) initiative ...


Analyzing The Role Of Science Practices In Acs Exam Items, Jessica J. Reed, Alexandra R. Brandriet, Thomas A. Holme Jan 2017

Analyzing The Role Of Science Practices In Acs Exam Items, Jessica J. Reed, Alexandra R. Brandriet, Thomas A. Holme

Chemistry Publications

Recent efforts to reform K–12 science curricula, embedded within the NRC Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards, have focused on unifying core disciplinary content with crosscutting concepts that span across science disciplines and scientific practices. With these reforms comes the challenge of creating “three-dimensional” assessments that measure beyond basic content knowledge mastery to incorporate measures of science practices and crosscutting concepts. Adding measures of science practices to traditional forms of assessments may prove to be challenging. The work herein investigates how science practices have been inherently incorporated into previously released ACS exams through ...


Methods For Addressing Missing Data With Applications From Acs Exams, Alexandra Brandriet, Thomas Holme Jan 2015

Methods For Addressing Missing Data With Applications From Acs Exams, Alexandra Brandriet, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

As part of the ACS Examinations Institute (ACS-EI) national norming process, student performance data sets are collected from professors at colleges and universities from around the United States. Because the data sets are collected on a volunteer basis, the ACS-EI often receives data sets with only students’ total scores and without the students’ responses to individual exam questions. Nonetheless, several national norming statistics require students’ item responses. This data return leads to missing data and potentially biased results when inferences are made based on that data set. This work uses student performance data sets from ACS-EI to consider how methods ...


Updating The General Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map, Thomas Holme, Cynthia Luxford, Kristen Murphy Jan 2015

Updating The General Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map, Thomas Holme, Cynthia Luxford, Kristen Murphy

Chemistry Publications

The previously published Anchoring Concepts Content Map (ACCM) from the ACS Examinations Institute is updated. Through the development process of the ACCM for other subdisciplines, changes have been made at the top two levels, and these changes need to be reflected in the previously published maps. In addition, a large-scale project to align test items from ACS Exams over the past 20 years revealed specific omissions in the initially published General Chemistry ACCM.


Development Of The Exams Data Analysis Spreadsheet As A Tool To Help Instructors Conduct Customizable Analyses Of Student Acs Exam Data, Alexandra Brandriet, Thomas Holme Jan 2015

Development Of The Exams Data Analysis Spreadsheet As A Tool To Help Instructors Conduct Customizable Analyses Of Student Acs Exam Data, Alexandra Brandriet, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

The American Chemical Society Examinations Institute (ACS-EI) has recently developed the Exams Data Analysis Spread (EDAS) as a tool to help instructors conduct customizable analyses of their student data from ACS exams. The EDAS calculations allow instructors to analyze their students’ performances both at the total score and individual item levels, while also providing national normative results that can be used for comparison. Additionally, instructors can analyze results based on subsets of items of their choosing or items based on the “big ideas” from the Anchoring Concepts Content Map (ACCM). In order to evaluate the utility and usability of the ...


Biochemistry Instructors’ Views Toward Developing And Assessing Visual Literacy In Their Courses, Kimberly J. Linenberger, Thomas Holme Jan 2015

Biochemistry Instructors’ Views Toward Developing And Assessing Visual Literacy In Their Courses, Kimberly J. Linenberger, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

Biochemistry instructors are inundated with various representations from which to choose to depict biochemical phenomena. Because of the immense amount of visual know-how needed to be an expert biochemist in the 21st century, there have been calls for instructors to develop biochemistry students’ visual literacy. However, visual literacy has multiple aspects, and determining which area to develop can be quite daunting. Therefore, the goals of this study were to determine what visual literacy skills biochemistry instructors deem to be most important and how instructors develop and assess visual literacy skills in their biochemistry courses. In order to address these goals ...


Building A Database For The Historical Analysis Of The General Chemistry Curriculum Using Acs General Chemistry Exams As Artifacts, Cynthia J. Luxford, Kimberly J. Linenberger, Jeffrey R. Raker, John Y. Baluyut, Jessica J. Reed, Chamila De Silva, Thomas Holme Jan 2015

Building A Database For The Historical Analysis Of The General Chemistry Curriculum Using Acs General Chemistry Exams As Artifacts, Cynthia J. Luxford, Kimberly J. Linenberger, Jeffrey R. Raker, John Y. Baluyut, Jessica J. Reed, Chamila De Silva, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

As a discipline, chemistry enjoys a unique position. While many academic areas prepared “cooperative examinations” in the 1930s, only chemistry maintained the activity within what has become the ACS Examinations Institute. As a result, the long-term existence of community-built, norm-referenced, standardized exams provides a historical artifact about the nature of content coverage in courses that stretches over decades. This work reports efforts to capture information and formulate it into a database about general chemistry content coverage over the past 20 years. Roughly 2000 items have been characterized in several ways, including (i) content, using an Anchoring Concepts Content Map; (ii ...


What Do Conceptual Holes In Assessment Say About The Topics We Teach In General Chemistry?, Cynthia J. Luxford, Thomas Holme Jan 2015

What Do Conceptual Holes In Assessment Say About The Topics We Teach In General Chemistry?, Cynthia J. Luxford, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

Introductory chemistry has long been considered a service course by various departments that entrust chemistry departments with teaching their students. As a result, most introductory courses include a majority of students who are not chemistry majors, and many are health and science related majors who are required to take chemistry. To identify content areas that are either well covered or sparsely covered, approximately 2000 exam items from four types of General Chemistry ACS exams (Full Year General Chemistry, General Chemistry Conceptual, First Term General Chemistry, and Second Term General Chemistry) spanning two decades were aligned to the Anchoring Concepts Content ...


Designing Chemistry Practice Exams For Enhanced Benefits. An Instrument For Comparing Performance And Mental Effort Measures, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme Jan 2015

Designing Chemistry Practice Exams For Enhanced Benefits. An Instrument For Comparing Performance And Mental Effort Measures, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

The emergence of students using cell phones and particularly the photographic capabilities of smartphones to cheat on exams is noted. The specific threat this form of academic misconduct poses to the ACS Examinations Institute is addressed in particular.


Defining Conceptual Understanding In General Chemistry, Thomas Holme, Cynthia J. Luxford, Alexandra Brandriet Jan 2015

Defining Conceptual Understanding In General Chemistry, Thomas Holme, Cynthia J. Luxford, Alexandra Brandriet

Chemistry Publications

Among the many possible goals that instructors have for students in general chemistry, the idea that they will better understand the conceptual underpinnings of the science is certainly important. Nonetheless, identifying with clarity what exemplifies student success at achieving this goal is hindered by the challenge of clearly articulating what conceptual understanding entails. While this may be a case of “we know it when we see it”, the design of assessments ultimately requires a specific definition of conceptual understanding. Without such a specific definition of the construct, it may be readily argued that a proposed measure does not provide evidence ...


A Historical Investigation Into Item Formats Of Acs Exams And Their Relationships To Science Practices, Alexandra Brandriet, Jessica J. Reed, Thomas Holme Jan 2015

A Historical Investigation Into Item Formats Of Acs Exams And Their Relationships To Science Practices, Alexandra Brandriet, Jessica J. Reed, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

The release of the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards has important implications for classroom teaching and assessment. Of particular interest is the implementation of science practices in the chemistry classroom, and the definitions established by the NRC makes these objectives much more tangible. However, this still may leave some wondering about how to begin making these changes. Mid-twentieth century chemical educators and pioneers of the first ACS exams advocated for testing science thinking and skills as early as the 1930s, and this necessitates a discussion about how early ACS exams measured these attributes ...


Improving Instructional Design With Better Analysis Of Assessment Data, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme Jan 2014

Improving Instructional Design With Better Analysis Of Assessment Data, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

As more instructors articulate learning objectives for their students within one course, or academic staff collaborate to articulate learning outcomes for programs, a robust means to assess student performance within these becomes increasingly important. The Examinations Institute of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Division of Chemical Education, has recently published content maps that utilise a structure of subdiscipline-independent fundamental concepts narrowing down to content details that are specific to subdisciplines. This structure has then been utilised to align items and can be used to assess student performance throughout a program. Learning objectives that are designed for a course can then ...


Investigating Faculty Familiarity With Assessment Terminology By Applying Cluster Analysis To Interpret Survey Data, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme Jan 2014

Investigating Faculty Familiarity With Assessment Terminology By Applying Cluster Analysis To Interpret Survey Data, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

A cluster analysis was conducted with a set of survey data on chemistry faculty familiarity with 13 assessment terms. Cluster groupings suggest a high, middle, and low overall familiarity with the terminology and an independent high and low familiarity with terms related to fundamental statistics. The six resultant clusters were found to be associated with key demographic variables such as institution type, chemistry subdiscipline, and years of teaching experience. Implications of this work include informing the creation of targeted professional development opportunities for faculty based on representative familiarity levels, leveraging both high and low familiarity with the 13 assessment terms.


Results Of A National Survey Of Biochemistry Instructors To Determine The Prevalence And Types Of Representations Used During Instruction And Assessment, Kimberly J. Linenberger, Thomas Holme Jan 2014

Results Of A National Survey Of Biochemistry Instructors To Determine The Prevalence And Types Of Representations Used During Instruction And Assessment, Kimberly J. Linenberger, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

Chemists and chemistry educators have long sought meaningful ways to visualize fundamentally abstract components, such as atoms and molecules, of their trade. As technology has improved, computer-based visualization methods have infused both research and education in chemistry. Biochemistry, in particular, has become highly dependent on ways that large molecular systems can be represented, and how to best focus attention on the most critical aspects of the molecular system. To better understand the current state of educational efforts related to visual literacy, a needs assessment was developed and administered to a national sample of biochemistry instructors at four-year institutions (N = 536 ...


Comparing Recent Organizing Templates For Test Content Between Acs Exams In General Chemistry And Ap Chemistry, Thomas Holme Jan 2014

Comparing Recent Organizing Templates For Test Content Between Acs Exams In General Chemistry And Ap Chemistry, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

Two different versions of “big ideas” rooted content maps have recently been published for general chemistry. As embodied in the content outline from the College Board, one of these maps is designed to guide curriculum development and testing for advanced placement (AP) chemistry. The Anchoring Concepts Content Map for general chemistry from the ACS Exams Institute is a component of a larger content map for the four-year undergraduate curriculum. This article compares the structure and content in these two maps to provide perspective on the current nature of the general chemistry curriculum. This contribution is part of a special issue ...


Infusing Sustainability Science Literacy Through Chemistry Education: Climate Science As A Rich Context For Learning Chemistry, Peter G. Mahaffy, Brian E. Martin, Mary Kirchhoff, Lallie Mckenzie, Thomas Holme, Ashley Versprille, Marcy Towns Jan 2014

Infusing Sustainability Science Literacy Through Chemistry Education: Climate Science As A Rich Context For Learning Chemistry, Peter G. Mahaffy, Brian E. Martin, Mary Kirchhoff, Lallie Mckenzie, Thomas Holme, Ashley Versprille, Marcy Towns

Chemistry Publications

Global science is paying increasingly urgent attention to sustainability challenges, as evidenced by initiatives such as the working group determining whether Earth has moved from the Holocene to the Anthropocene Epoch on the geologic time scale and the interdisciplinary efforts to define and quantify our planetary boundaries. Despite the fact that much of the scientific work underlying these initiatives is based on measurements of fundamental chemistry parameters, sustainability literacy has not been incorporated in any systematic way into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum. We report here on the philosophy and implementation of a NSF-funded initiative, Visualizing the Chemistry of Climate Change ...


The Role Of Non-Content Goals In The Assessment Of Chemistry Learning, Jessica J. Reed, Thomas Holme Jan 2014

The Role Of Non-Content Goals In The Assessment Of Chemistry Learning, Jessica J. Reed, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

As technology continues to make information and facts readily accessible, the importance of understanding the context of the information and demonstrating how to use it appropriately will provide better indications of learning than factual recall. This chapter examines the manner in which curriculum and assessment reforms are moving toward promotion of student skill development beyond traditional content knowledge recall. A discussion of the current state of non-content skill assessment in chemistry is presented noting in particular that instructor interest in non-content aspects of learning appears to outpace the measurement of them. Additionally, the chapter presents data from a national survey ...


Exploring The Apparent Motivational Impact Of Resurrection Points From Final Exam Performance, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme Jan 2014

Exploring The Apparent Motivational Impact Of Resurrection Points From Final Exam Performance, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

This chapter examines the motivational impact of resurrection points; a systematic method for encouraging students to earn back missed points on semester exams through performance on the final exam. This method for utilizing hour exams as a type of formative assessment was explored for three courses across three years. Four of the nine individual courses sampled offered resurrection points. A student’s grade trajectory based on semester exam performance was used to predict how well a student needed to perform on the final exam to receive a particular course grade. The need to over or under perform based on semester ...


Review Of Pioneers Of Quantum Chemistry, Thomas Holme Jan 2014

Review Of Pioneers Of Quantum Chemistry, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

There is little doubt that reading books other than textbooks represents an important component of maintaining knowledge for many chemistry educators. Nonetheless, with 30 or more books a year being produced by the ACS Symposium Series alone, how can choices be made about what merits reading time? Certainly, the presentation of current research trends that might influence the chemistry taught in courses represents one metric, but there are many additional worthy books. In terms of potential teaching treasures to be mined, time spent reading history of science presents a strong possibility.


Lessons Learned From Collaborations In Chemistry Assessment Across Universities: Challenges In Transfer And Scale, Pamela L. Paek, Thomas Holme Jan 2013

Lessons Learned From Collaborations In Chemistry Assessment Across Universities: Challenges In Transfer And Scale, Pamela L. Paek, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

This chapter reviews a collaborative effort to cross-pollinate and share work around chemistry assessments across several universities. The goal was to find ways to synthesize separate projects and capitalize on applying developed instruments and assessments beyond a single university, and in new situations, to increase scale and check for generalizability. Discussion of the successes and challenges of scale and transfer of the collaboration is detailed in this chapter.


Importance Of Considering Longitudinal Trajectories In Education Reform Efforts, Thomas Holme, Melanie M. Cooper, Pratibha Varma-Nelson Jan 2013

Importance Of Considering Longitudinal Trajectories In Education Reform Efforts, Thomas Holme, Melanie M. Cooper, Pratibha Varma-Nelson

Chemistry Publications

This chapter introduces the collection of articles in this book with an emphasis on why it is important to consider the way that educational research and reform efforts change over time. The importance of considering a longitudinal view of education reform is emphasized in two ways. First, the context of this work relative to current literature is considered. Second, the idea of a greater focus on the longer-term trajectories of reform efforts in considered in terms of suggestions for the future of chemistry education.


Adaptation Of An Instrument For Measuring The Cognitive Complexity Of Organic Chemistry Exam Items, Jeffrey R. Raker, Jaclyn M. Trate, Thomas Holme, Kristen Murphy Jan 2013

Adaptation Of An Instrument For Measuring The Cognitive Complexity Of Organic Chemistry Exam Items, Jeffrey R. Raker, Jaclyn M. Trate, Thomas Holme, Kristen Murphy

Chemistry Publications

Experts use their domain expertise and knowledge of examinees’ ability levels as they write test items. The expert test writer can then estimate the difficulty of the test items subjectively. However, an objective method for assigning difficulty to a test item would capture the cognitive demands imposed on the examinee as well as be assignable by any domain expert familiar with the examinee group. One such instrument for assigning objective complexity of general chemistry exam items has already been reported. A revised instrument for assigning objective complexity of organic chemistry exam items is presented including the reliability and validity studies ...


Identifying Differential Performance In General Chemistry: Differential Item Functioning Analysis Of Acs General Chemistry Trial Tests, Lisa Kendhammer, Thomas Holme, Kristen Murphy Jan 2013

Identifying Differential Performance In General Chemistry: Differential Item Functioning Analysis Of Acs General Chemistry Trial Tests, Lisa Kendhammer, Thomas Holme, Kristen Murphy

Chemistry Publications

The development of high-quality assessments can be an intensive process. At the American Chemical Society Examinations Institute (ACS-EI), this follows a general process of test design and content mapping, item construction, trial testing, item analysis, and final test setting. The item analysis portion of this procedure is an important step in using field-testing results to select the best items. This selection is based on validity analysis by experts, both field-test users and test writers, and by students in field testing. The traditional item analysis of the ACS-EI now includes a differential item functioning analysis with subgroups by gender when a ...


Using Structural Equation Modeling To Understand Chemistry Faculty Familiarity Of Assessment Terminology: Results From A National Survey, Jeffrey R. Raker, Mary Emenike, Thomas Holme Jan 2013

Using Structural Equation Modeling To Understand Chemistry Faculty Familiarity Of Assessment Terminology: Results From A National Survey, Jeffrey R. Raker, Mary Emenike, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

Chemistry departments have felt pressure in recent years to produce quality data on student achievement of learning outcomes. External (e.g., accreditation agencies) and internal (e.g., academic deans) entities are demanding regular review of student achievement. It is thus necessary for the chemistry community to develop valid and reliable instruments to assess student learning. With chemistry faculty members’ integration into assessment practices, it is important that these faculty members have a sufficient understanding of the quality of and limitations to the interpretation of assessment data. As part of a larger national survey, 1505 chemistry faculty members from a diverse ...


Validating Chemistry Faculty Members’ Self-Reported Familiarity With Assessment Terminology, Mary Emenike, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme Jan 2013

Validating Chemistry Faculty Members’ Self-Reported Familiarity With Assessment Terminology, Mary Emenike, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

With the increasing emphasis placed upon chemistry instructors and departments to assess and evaluate their courses and curricula, understanding the structure of chemistry faculty members’ knowledge and use of assessment terms and concepts can shed light on potential areas for targeted professional development. Survey research that might accomplish this objective often relies on self-reported responses from the target audience, and such information is sometimes difficult to assess in terms of validity. As an example of an internal mechanism to help establish validity, it is possible to include an “internal standard” item early in the survey. For the sake of understanding ...


A Trajectory Of Reform In General Chemistry For Engineering Students, Thomas Holme, Heather Caruthers Jan 2013

A Trajectory Of Reform In General Chemistry For Engineering Students, Thomas Holme, Heather Caruthers

Chemistry Publications

This chapter considers efforts to enhance learning within the general chemisty course taken by pre-engineering students. Because this course is inherently offered as a service course, often for students in a different college from the Chemistry Department at a university, there are both constraints and opportunities related to the manner in which reform can be enacted. Efforts spanning roughly 15 years are described and an emphasis on the nature of problem-solving within the course emerges as a common theme. The issue of student motivation is also considered with pre-engineering students serving as a prototype of a type of student who ...


The Acs Exams Institute Undergraduate Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map Ii: Organic Chemistry, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme, Kristen L. Murphy Jan 2013

The Acs Exams Institute Undergraduate Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map Ii: Organic Chemistry, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme, Kristen L. Murphy

Chemistry Publications

As a way to assist chemistry departments with programmatic assessment of undergraduate chemistry curricula, the ACS Examinations Institute is devising a map of the content taught throughout the undergraduate curriculum. The structure of the map is hierarchal, with large grain size at the top and more content detail as one moves “down” the levels of the map, of which there are four levels total. This paper presents these four levels of the map with reference to second-year, organic chemistry.


Polytomous Versus Dichotomous Scoring On Multiple-Choice Examinations: Development Of A Rubric For Rating Partial Credit, Megan L. Grunert, Jeffrey R. Raker, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme Jan 2013

Polytomous Versus Dichotomous Scoring On Multiple-Choice Examinations: Development Of A Rubric For Rating Partial Credit, Megan L. Grunert, Jeffrey R. Raker, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

The concept of assigning partial credit on multiple-choice test items is considered for items from ACS Exams. Because the items on these exams, particularly the quantitative items, use common student errors to define incorrect answers, it is possible to assign partial credits to some of these incorrect responses. To do so, however, it becomes vital that instructors reach general agreement as to the level of partial credit. Using workshops with instructors, ACS Exams has identified reasons why partial credit could be assigned in an exam set of 70 test items. With partial-credit assignments thus established, polytomous scoring is applied and ...