ChemEd X articles address topics in chemical education ranging across the entire spectrum of the chemical sciences.
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Session 6 focuses on cognitive interviewing as a formative assessment strategy that is conducted between a teacher and one student to elicit students’ thinking. The teacher interviews one student at a time with a set of probing questions that uncovers conceptual understanding. Key elements to consider in developing and using cognitive interviewing with a formative assessment are: the questions are open ended, you are not assessing whether the student answers are right or wrong, it is not a time to correct student thinking (it is a time for noticing, not for teaching) and provides an opportunity to listen to students’ thinking to collect data. Teachers will have time during the session to practice thinking like a student.
This 3 hour session continues to build a collaborative learning community and deepen understanding of students’ chemical thinking by comparing different teaching moves and how these moves promote the development of sense-making with chemistry concepts. The session begins with teachers reviewing classroom videos that were submitted for homework from a past ACCT cohort. Teachers bring three copies of de-identified student work samples from a recent formative assessment. Using a looking at student work protocol small groups of teachers look for evidence of chemical thinking and note what ideas are revealed and generated in the student’s written work. The small group discussions align with the overarching goal of increasing capacity for interpreting the assumptions about chemistry underlying student ideas based on written work samples that are reviewed.
The 3 hour session includes time for teachers to share their experiences, engage with student work and explore the formative assessment cycle. The session encourages teachers to deepen their understanding of the formative assessment cycle by looking at student work and reviewing videos looking for eliciting moves. Teachers will work collaboratively to notice and interpret student thinking and discuss the similarities and differences between student responses and our interpretations of them. Time will be spent introducing the teacher dilemma program component and examining one to discuss possible strategies to address this challenge. There will also be time at the end of the session to modify/revise their formative assessment to make ready to give to students.
In this 3 hour session the overarching goals are to strengthen the ability to plan for learning about students’ chemical thinking using formative assessments that elicit students’ ideas, particularly focusing on the nature of questions. This session also offers a brief introduction to the NGSS core expectations. The emphasis will be on increasing participants’ ability to notice how students use chemistry knowledge to make sense of problems that chemistry allows us to address. Participants put on a “student hat” to use four formative assessments to consider the accessibility of each prompt and what specifically the formative assessment would reveal about students’ chemical thinking. Participants are introduced to a quadrant continuum graphic organizer and asked to place each of the four formative assessments on the continuum. The quadrants are labeled revealing/accessible, not revealing/accessible, revealing/not accessible, not revealing/not accessible. After reviewing the formative assessment as students, participants apply their ideas and reasoning for placing the four formative assessments in the quadrants. Participants apply chemical ideas through the chemical thinking questions and consider various purposes for using a specific type of formative assessment in a particular learning situation. There is also time for participants to offer specific changes to the four formative assessments to modify them to be either more accessible and/or more revealing.
The March 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: lunar exploration and the chemistry classroom; teaching and learning remotely; experiments with color and natural products; materials science; introductory computational chemistry; guided inquiry activities; demonstrations and apparatus; teaching organic chemistry; biochemistry; chemical education research: introductory chemistry; from the archives: choose your own adventure and chemical escape rooms.
ChemEd X Talks with Katy Dornbos about how she has transformed the way she is assessing her students - particularly on exams. Her new method of assessing was born from her desire to decrease student stress, minimize her grading time and keep the questions challenging enough to encourage deep thinking. You can watch the edited recording of Katy's Talk here.
The Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking (ACCT) group has created materials for chemistry teachers nationwide to employ in order to deliver professional development in your schools, districts, and professional organizations. The ten sessions constitute a full course of professional development, which we used to deliver over the course of an entire school year back in Boston. The design of the professional development is based upon three critical frameworks, each of which is a pillar that the PD rests upon. These three pillars are Chemical Thinking, the Formative Assessment Enactment Model and the Teaching Dilemmas. Understanding how these three pillars collectively support the ACCT model of professional development is critical to be able to deliver professional development sessions effectively. More information about each framework is linked above their respective infographics. Session at at glance pages for each of the nine sessions give an overview of what facilitators and participants should expect from each ACCT session.
The February 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: classic demonstrations, teaching during COVID-19, encouraging future scientists, games for teaching organic chemistry, student understanding of bonding, project-based learning, safety, computer-aided instruction, scientific literature, curriculum innovations, examining assessment, material science, research experiences, laboratory experiments, from the archives: teaching with household materials.
Chad Husting presented in a ChemEd X Talk and spoke about how he has transitioned to standards based grading during a pandemic! He shared some tips that have solved many of the problems that teachers struggle with including having a mix of face to face and virtual students and keeping up with late work, make-up work and missing assignments! You can watch the edited recording of Chad's Talk here.
This demonstration offers an alternative to the disappearing rainbow demonstration using readily accessible materials.