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Full-Text Articles in Education

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.


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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.


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 ...


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 ...