Assessment

What do you want to know about your students' chemical thinking? Categorizing chemistry formative assessments

In order to teach chemistry effectively, we must ascertain what our students are thinking about chemistry and make a decision regarding what to do with what we learn. Formative assessment questions provide a useful lens into students' minds regarding what they are thinking about chemistry. Let us consider then, how categorizing formative assessment questions could help us plan out our classes more deliberately, in order to better design purposeful written formative assessments that align with our curricular goals. If you would like to learn more, please join us for a ChemEd X Talk about formative assessment question categories that we will be leading on Thursday May 26 at 7:00 PM EST.

Summative Assessment: High Rigor - Low Stress with Katy Dornbos

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.

Journey with Standards Based Grading with Chad Husting

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.

Formative Assessment Using Nearpod with Michael Farabaugh

Some of the challenges associated with virtual instruction include connecting with students and checking for understanding in real time. On February 2nd, Michael Farabaugh presented a ChemEd X Talk about how he uses the interactive features of Nearpod to create formative assessment items that provide valuable feedback and facilitate student participation. You can watch the edited recording of Michael's Talk and access the lesson he shared during the presentation here.

Comparing household chemicals

In "Comparing household chemicals" students discover the effects of using different types of household chemicals and determine if they are really all so different. This formative assessment targets the question “What are the effects of using and producing different matter types?” This is important because students should understand the types of products they are using. If they are buying something that says it is a cleaner for the bathroom, why does it sometimes have the same compounds in it as a cleaner for the kitchen. If students can recognize this, then they can be better consumers and not have to buy two different products knowing that the chemicals are the same.

Salt vs. Sugar – A Dissolving Problem

This formative assessment looks at two household chemicals (table salt and sugar) and compares their properties while looking at how they dissolve in water. The “Salt vs. Sugar” formative assessment explores students’ thinking about the question “How does structure influence reactivity?” The main idea that is being targeted is for students to think about what is happening at the molecular level during the solution process. This activity is important for students because it helps create a context for what some of the vocabulary and concepts mean by providing tangible examples of these concepts (such as the concept of saturation).This formative assessment looks at two household chemicals (table salt and sugar) and compares their properties while looking at how they dissolve in water. The “Salt vs. Sugar” formative assessment explores students’ thinking about the question “How does structure influence reactivity?” The main idea that is being targeted is for students to think about what is happening at the molecular level during the solution process. This activity is important for students because it helps create a context for what some of the vocabulary and concepts mean by providing tangible examples of these concepts (such as the concept of saturation).