P831: Using timed, practice exams to promote self-assessment of learning
Diagnostic and formative assessments were implemented in the first-semester organic chemistry course using clickers in class and electronic homework outside the classroom. Peer collaboration is encouraged when using clickers, and the process of arriving at the correct answer is discussed immediately after the histogram is displayed. Electronic homework requires students to practice problem-solving skills; useful hints and feedback are intended to assist students with self-assessment of their learning. Exam archives provide opportunities to test their understanding and mastery prior to course exams. Students apparently do not use practice exams effectively; instead, they refer to their textbook, lecture notes, and solutions manual while working on the practice exam. The first time that these students confront the truth about their exam preparation is at the course exam. Consequently, exam performance falls short of their expectations. Timed practice exams were administered in fall 2012 on the weekend preceding each course exam and the final. The results will be presented, and the pros and cons will be discussed.