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Full-Text Articles in Education

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 ...


A Historical Analysis Of The Curriculum Of Organic Chemistry Using Acs Exams As Artifacts, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme Jan 2013

A Historical Analysis Of The Curriculum Of Organic Chemistry Using Acs Exams As Artifacts, Jeffrey R. Raker, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

Standardized examinations, such as those developed and disseminated by the ACS Examinations Institute, are artifacts of the teaching of a course and over time may provide a historical perspective on how curricula have changed and evolved. This study investigated changes in organic chemistry curricula across a 60-year period by evaluating 18 ACS Organic Chemistry Exams through the lenses of problem-type, visualization use, content covered, and percentile rankings. For all lenses, the early 1970s emerged as a focal point for change and stabilization of the organic chemistry curricula.


Results From A National Needs Assessment Survey: A View Of Assessment Efforts Within Chemistry Departments, Mary Elizabeth Emenike, Jacob Schroeder, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme Jan 2013

Results From A National Needs Assessment Survey: A View Of Assessment Efforts Within Chemistry Departments, Mary Elizabeth Emenike, Jacob Schroeder, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

As is true for virtually all of higher education, chemistry departments are often required to provide evidence of student learning at both course and curricular levels through evaluation and assessment. The ACS Exams Institute conducted a needs assessment survey of 1500 chemistry faculty members from across the country to investigate motivation, role, instrument use, and challenges associated with assessment efforts. For the more than 70% of participants who reported departmental efforts related to assessment, these findings emerged: motivations were primarily external factors related to accreditation and certification, ACS Exams and in-house exams were the most common instruments used, and time ...


Review Of Nature Of Science In General Chemistry Textbooks, Thomas Holme Jan 2012

Review Of Nature Of Science In General Chemistry Textbooks, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

This title is an example of a new series of works called “SpringerBriefs” that have been published as eBooks by Springer. This particular eBook is from SpringerBriefs in Education, a series with nine titles currently listed. The essential concept of the overall series (which has 47 content areas, including “molecular science”) is to provide a venue that lies between new research published in an archival journal and large-scale literature reviews. In chemistry education, there really is no journal dedicated to reviews, so this series may serve an important role. The article “Nature of Science in General Chemistry Textbooks” fits this ...


The Acs Exams Institute Undergraduate Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map I: General Chemistry, Thomas Holme, Kristen L. Murphy Jan 2012

The Acs Exams Institute Undergraduate Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map I: General Chemistry, Thomas Holme, Kristen L. Murphy

Chemistry Publications

To provide tools for programmatic assessment related to the use of ACS Exams in undergraduate chemistry courses, the ACS Exams Institute has built a content map that applies to the entire undergraduate curriculum. At the top two levels, the grain size of the content classification is large and spans the entire undergraduate curriculum. At the bottom two levels, the grain size of the content is more fine and tuned to specific course levels of the curriculum. This paper presents all four levels of the map as identified for first-year general chemistry.


Investigating Factors That Influence Item Performance On Acs Exams, Jacob Schroeder, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme Jan 2012

Investigating Factors That Influence Item Performance On Acs Exams, Jacob Schroeder, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

General chemistry tests from the Examinations Institute of the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society have been analyzed to identify factors that may influence how individual test items perform. In this paper, issues of item order (position within a set of items that comprise a test) and answer order (position of correct answer relative to incorrect distractors) are discussed. Answer order is identified as potentially important, particularly for conceptually based items. When the correct answer appears earlier among the answer choices, there is some greater propensity for student performance to be better. Item-order effects are also possible ...


Classroom Response Systems Have Not “Crossed The Chasm”: Estimating Numbers Of Chemistry Faculty Who Use Clickers, Mary E. Emenike, Thomas Holme Jan 2012

Classroom Response Systems Have Not “Crossed The Chasm”: Estimating Numbers Of Chemistry Faculty Who Use Clickers, Mary E. Emenike, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

Results of a national survey of faculty usage of assessment tools are presented and framed within the concept of the technology adoption life cycle. Specifically, the use of classroom response systems as reported by survey participants suggests that the adoption of this technique in chemistry is still at the “early adopters” stage, or perhaps is just beginning to cross into the “early majority” category. This transition is viewed within this model as a chasm to be crossed, and data from this work suggest that transition is not yet fully achieved.


Building The Acs Exams Anchoring Concept Content Map For Undergraduate Chemistry, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme, April Zenisky, Karen Knauss Jan 2012

Building The Acs Exams Anchoring Concept Content Map For Undergraduate Chemistry, Kristen L. Murphy, Thomas Holme, April Zenisky, Karen Knauss

Chemistry Publications

The ability to coherently assess content knowledge throughout an entire undergraduate career represents a significant advantage for programmatic assessment strategies. Chemistry, as a discipline, has an unusual tool in this regard because of the nationally standardized exams from the ACS Exams Institute. These exams are norm-referenced and allow chemistry departments to make comparisons between the performance of their own students relative to national samples; however, currently there appears to be no systematic means for noting students’ content knowledge growth over a four-year degree. The Exams Institute is undertaking the task of organizing content along an anchoring concept or “big ideas ...


Assessing Conceptual And Algorithmic Knowledge In General Chemistry With Acs Exams, Thomas Holme, Kristen L. Murphy Jan 2011

Assessing Conceptual And Algorithmic Knowledge In General Chemistry With Acs Exams, Thomas Holme, Kristen L. Murphy

Chemistry Publications

In 2005, the ACS Examinations Institute released an exam for first-term general chemistry in which items are intentionally paired with one conceptual and one traditional item. A second-term, paired-questions exam was released in 2007. This paper presents an empirical study of student performances on these two exams based on national samples of students who took the exams as part of a general chemistry course sequence. Psychometric data for student performances are presented in terms of classical difficulty and discrimination indexes, as well as item characteristic curves, as are more commonly used in item response theory. Having these data provided for ...


Assessing Conceptual Versus Algorithmic Knowledge: Are We Engendering New Myths In Chemical Education?, Thomas Holme, Kristen Murphy Jan 2011

Assessing Conceptual Versus Algorithmic Knowledge: Are We Engendering New Myths In Chemical Education?, Thomas Holme, Kristen Murphy

Chemistry Publications

Studies over the past two decades have emphasized a gap between relatively weak student performance on conceptual items versus traditional items. The ACS Examinations Institute has released a pair of exams for general chemistry in which items are intentionally paired with one conceptual and one traditional item. This paper describes data from statistical analysis of the item pairs, and notes that for these exams, this gap is not evident, as overall performance is better on conceptual items. Possible implications for teaching and for research in Chemistry Education are noted.


A Valid And Reliable Instrument For Cognitive Complexity Rating Assignment Of Chemistry Exam Items, Karen Knaus, Kristen Murphy, Anja Blecking, Thomas Holme Jan 2011

A Valid And Reliable Instrument For Cognitive Complexity Rating Assignment Of Chemistry Exam Items, Karen Knaus, Kristen Murphy, Anja Blecking, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

The design and use of a valid and reliable instrument for the assignment of cognitive complexity ratings to chemistry exam items is described in this paper. Use of such an instrument provides a simple method to quantify the cognitive demands of chemistry exam items. Instrument validity was established in two different ways: statistically significant correlations between expert-based cognitive complexity ratings and student performance (as measured through statistical difficulty of items), and statistically significant correlations between expert-based cognitive complexity ratings and student mental effort ratings. Key benefits associated with instrument use include an enhanced understanding of the cognitive complexity of chemistry ...


Assessment Data And Decision Making In Teaching, Thomas Holme Jan 2011

Assessment Data And Decision Making In Teaching, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

Finding avenues to collect and use data in our teaching parallel to the way we use data in research may be an important way to improve educational outcomes.


Book Review Of Quantum Chemistry, 2nd Edition, Thomas Holme Jan 2010

Book Review Of Quantum Chemistry, 2nd Edition, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

This article presents a review of the second edition of Quantum Chemistry by D.A. McQuarrie.


The Impact Of Nanoscience Context On Multiple Choice Chemistry Items, Karen Knaus, Kristen Murphy, Thomas Holme Jan 2009

The Impact Of Nanoscience Context On Multiple Choice Chemistry Items, Karen Knaus, Kristen Murphy, Thomas Holme

Chemistry Publications

Modern chemistry topics are often introduced into classrooms long before they appear in standardized exams. This paper investigates the role of a nanoscience context in multiple choice items by using a comparative description of the cognitive load effects of such items on a practice exam that was given to students in 2nd-semester general chemistry and 1-semester pre-engineering general chemistry. It includes a classroom comparison study of performance and mental effort analyses in twelve chemistry content areas including a nanoscience and materials context category. In addition, cognitive load effects of paired items in four subcategories were evaluated. Results from ...


Introducing Proper Chemical Hygiene And Safety In The General Chemistry Curriculum, Gordon J. Miller, Stephen A. Heideman, Thomas Greenbowe Jan 2000

Introducing Proper Chemical Hygiene And Safety In The General Chemistry Curriculum, Gordon J. Miller, Stephen A. Heideman, Thomas Greenbowe

Chemistry Publications

Chemical safety is an important component of science education for everyone, not just for chemistry majors. Developing a responsible and knowledgeable attitude towards chemical safety best starts at the early stages of a student's career. In many colleges and universities, safety education in undergraduate chemistry has been relegated primarily to a few regulatory documents at the beginning of a laboratory course, or an occasional warning in the description of a specific experiment in a prelaboratory lecture. Safety issues are seldom raised in general chemistry or organic chemistry lecture-based chemistry courses. At Iowa State University we have begun to implement ...


A Pictorial Approach To Molecular Orbital Bonding In Polymers: Non-Mathematical But Honest, Gordon J. Miller, John G. Verkade Jan 1999

A Pictorial Approach To Molecular Orbital Bonding In Polymers: Non-Mathematical But Honest, Gordon J. Miller, John G. Verkade

Chemistry Publications

The generator orbital (GO) approach is a useful tool for teaching students how to visualize, pictorially, the MO's in a wide assortment of discrete organic, organometallic, metal complex, and cluster molecules possessing a variety of structures. We describe a novel and useful extension of this non-mathematical but honest learning concept to a timely and important class of molecules, namely, polymers. Two examples are treated by our pictorial method: one is s-bonded polyethylene and the other is p-conjugated polyacetylene.


Safety In The Chemistry Curriculum At Iowa State University, Gordon J. Miller, Paul Richmond Jan 1998

Safety In The Chemistry Curriculum At Iowa State University, Gordon J. Miller, Paul Richmond

Chemistry Publications

At Iowa State University we have developed and are continuing to design programs into our undergraduate and graduate curricula that will establish a sound practice of proper chemical hygiene in the laboratory. Our efforts include: (1) for all entering graduate students, an introductory graduate course to teach proper laboratory procedures and handling of chemicals; (2) for advanced graduate students, a chemistry safety committee which interacts with our university's EH&S department to learn about EPA and OSHA requirements so as to maintain a high level of safety awareness throughout our research labs; and (3) for our undergraduate introductory chemistry students, supplementary readings and prelaboratory quizzes designed with chemical safety in mind, e.g., waste handling procedures, first aid, MSDS's, and the ...