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Assessments - Chemistry

Developing and validating reliable assessment instruments is a long process involving investigation of student difficulties, designing questions which can reliably uncover these difficulties, interviewing faculty about the appropriateness of the questions, pilot testing with students (both individual interviews and large scale in-class testing), performing statistical analysis, question refinement (addition/change/removal) and re-testing. It takes years of development effort to create and validate reliable assessment instruments and in order to ensure that these assessment instruments do not lose their reliability (for example, by answers showing up in online forums) it is important that:
1. students are not given copies following administration of the assessment tool and
2. questions are not incorporated into web-based question delivery systems without adequate security to prevent printing or unauthorized access by students.
 
 
Content-based assessments
  • Chemical Concept Inventory (CCI)
    • 22 item multiple choice test designed based on student alternate conceptions of chemistry concepts typically covered in a first year university course
    • Article describing the inventory available here
  • Chemistry concept inventory (CCI)
    • Conceptual inventory of introductory chemistry topics such as bonding, intermolecular forces, electrochemistry, equilibrium, thermochemistry and acids and bases
    • Article describing its development available here
  • Diagnostic Chemistry Instrument for Introductory students
    • 65 item instrument which contains both multiple choice and free response items suitable for identifying the chemistry misconceptions of incoming students
    • Items on the instrument have been validated by experts, subjected to statistical analysis after being first administered to students and subsequently improved.
    • Article describing the instrument and development of the items as well as its use for diagnostic purposes is available here
  • Bonding Representations Inventory (BRI)
    • Inventory designed to quantify students’ misconceptions about ionic and covalent bonding
    • Article describing the instrument and its development available here
  • Representational Systems and Chemical Reactions Diagnostic Instrument (RSCRDI)
    • Instrument to evaluate secondary students’ ability to describe and explain seven types of chemical reactions using three types of representations
    • Article describing the instrument and its development available here
  • Thermochemistry concept inventory
    • Conceptual inventory of thermochemistry concepts typically covered in a first-semester general chemistry class
  • Implicit Information from Lewis Structures Instrument (IILSI)
    • Survey which asks students to identify the kinds of information they believe can be deduced from Lewis structures
    • Article describing the instrument and its development available here
  • Enzyme-Substrate Interactions Concept Inventory (ESICI)
    • 15 item instrument that measures student understanding of enzyme-substrate interactions
    • Article describing the instrument and its development available here
  • Laboratory Assessment
    • Chemistry education researchers at Hendrix college have designed an outcome-based assessment tool for introductory chemistry laboratory for majors
    • The paper describing its development and use can be accessed here
  • ​Redox Concept Inventory
    • ​Survey that evaluates student understanding of symbolic and particulate domoains of oxidation-reduction reactions
    • The paper describing its development and use can be accessed here
  • ACID I
    • ​Diagnostic tool to identify organic chemistry students' alternative concepts related to acid strength
    • The paper describing its development and use can be accessed here

​​Metacognitive Skills in Chemistry

  • Metacognitive Activities Inventory (MCAI)
    • Instrument designed to evaluate students' metacognitive skillfulness in solving chemistry problems
    • Paper describing the development of the inventory which includes the items available here
Affect and Attitudes about Chemistry/Science
Affect and Attitudes about Laboratory courses
  • Science Laboratory Environment Inventory (SLEI)
    • Instrument which can be used to assess laboratory environment both from the perspective of the instructor and the students on five different dimensions: student cohesiveness, open-endedness (of laboratory activities), integration (with non-laboratory courses), rule clarity (extent to which lab activities are guided by formal rules) and material environment (laboratory equipment). The instrument is found in the appendix of the paper here
    • Article describing the development and use of the instrument available here
  • Chemistry Laboratory Anxiety Instrument (Clai) 
    • Article describing the development of the instrument available here
    • Instrument designed to quantify anxieties students experience in college chemistry laboratories
  • ​Laboratory course assessment survey (LCAS)
    • The Laboratory Course Assessment Survey (LCAS) measures students’ perceptions of three design features of lab courses: 1) collaboration, 2) discovery and relevance, and 3) iteration. Article describing the development and use of the instrument is available here
    • LCAS instrument is available here
  • ​Meaningful learning in the laboratory instrument (MLLI)
    • 31 item instrument designed to measure students' expectations before and after laboratory courses and experiences, in both the cognitive and affective domains, within the context of conducting experiments in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory
    • Article describing the development and use of the instrument is available here
    • The MLLI instrument is available here

Self-efficacy (belief in one’s own ability to be successful) and motivation

  • College Chemistry Self-Efficacy Scale (CCSS)
    • Instrument which can be used to assess college students’ beliefs in their abilities to perform essential tasks in chemistry
    • Article describing the development and use of the instrument available here
  • Chemistry Motivation Questionnaire II (CMQ-II)
    • Survey of students’ motivation to learn chemistry
      • The link above will take you to the Science Motivation Questionnaire II, SMQ-II. To use this in chemistry, you can substitute the word “science” with “chemistry”
    • An article describing the validation of the SMQ-II is available here
  • General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE)
    • 10 item instrument assessing general self-efficacy (i.e., not specific to a particular domain)
If we missed some assessments developed by chemistry education researchers, please let us know at dbserc@pitt.edu.