P499: Defining the domain through a historical analysis of ACS general chemistry exams

Author: Cynthia J. Luxford, Iowa State University, USA

Co-Author: Thomas A. Holme, Iowa State University, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 9:35 AM9:55 AM

Room: MAK A1111

Related Symposium: S45

In order to determine student understanding and to evaluate the success of assessment measures, it is important to first understand what concepts are being taught. The American Chemical Society (ACS) Exams Institute has been developing and vetting the Anchoring Concepts Content Map (ACCM) as a tool for programmatic assessment for undergraduate chemistry curricula. The general chemistry version of the ACCM was used to analyze content coverage on more modern standardized ACS general chemistry exams which have been released over the past twenty years. The ACS Exams Institute offers several types of standardized general chemistry exams which include the First Term General Chemistry Exam, the Second-Term General Chemistry Exam, the Full Year General Chemistry Exam and the Conceptual General Chemistry Exam. A total of 1,995 items from twenty-eight ACS general chemistry exams were mapped to the general chemistry ACCM. All ACS exams are developed by committees of chemists and trial tested before exams are released at the national level. The grassroots nature of the exam development allows each exam to be used as a historical marker for teaching practices in general chemistry for the time period at which the exam was created. A historical analysis of content coverage of four different types of ACS general chemistry exams will be presented.

P63: Evaluating physical chemistry teaching methods using an original quantum chemistry concept inventory

Author: Marilu Dick-Perez, Iowa State University, USA

Co-Author: Cynthia J. Luxford, Theresa L. Windus and Thomas Holme, Iowa State University, USA

Date: 8/3/14

Time: 2:25 PM2:45 PM

Room: LOH 164

Related Symposium: S10

Identifying common misconceptions among students is important for determining the effect of teaching interventions and non-traditional teaching methods on the learning and retention of quantum chemistry. We present a quantum chemistry concept inventory, QCCI, as a tool to assess misconceptions and compare teaching methods. The QCCI contains a limited number of multiple choice items based on previously published misconceptions and typical content covered in undergraduate quantum chemistry classes. A concurrent study examines the QCCI’s ability to measure the effect of in-class exercises. In-class exercises were developed that focus on peer interactions and the use of computer-based simulations. By administering the QCCI at the beginning and end of the semester we expect to determine whether there are learning gains resulting from the in-class exercises. Preliminary results from a pilot study suggest that the items in the inventory successfully probe common misconceptions and may be used to determine if the administered in-class exercises benefitted students. Widespread use of the QCCI can eventually be used for evaluating teaching methods and interventions used in undergraduate quantum chemistry courses.