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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - CHM6756
Tracking Number - 5169

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Current Status: SCNS Liaison Notified of Graduate Council Approval - 2016-04-21
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: elective for Chemistry. To GC. GOOD learning objectives! Appd

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2015-01-13
  2. Department: Chemistry
  3. College: AS
  4. Budget Account Number: 121300
  5. Contact Person: Scott Lewis
  6. Phone: 8139743099
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: CHM
  9. Number: 6756
  10. Full Title: Classroom Assessment Practices in Chemistry
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: Y
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?: N
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Chemistry Assessment Practices
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites: No prerequisites
  23. Corequisites: No corequisites
  24. Course Description: This course addresses the theory and practice of assessments in chemistry. The course will focus on the design, implementation, and evaluation of classroom assessments and the rationale for considering alternative assessments.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Replacing Selected Topics with Permanent number; already listed in program
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? Significant number of students specializing in discipline-based educational research or interested in college science teaching as a career in Ph.D. programs in Chemistry and other programs served.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? Yes, 1 time
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Ph.D. in Chemistry Education, Science Education or Chemistry with post-graduate training in Chemistry Education.
  29. Objectives: This course seeks to promote:

    • the introduction of a variety of assessment techniques, including online testing, open-ended assessments and student presentations

    • a working knowledge of multiple choice exams consistent with the principles of sound assessment practices

    • the ability to examine assessment results in the context of discriminatory power, validity and item bias

    • a description of the rationale for formative assessments and their use in an educational setting

    • alternative uses for assessment results including program evaluation and conducting educational research

  30. Learning Outcomes: • Students will be able to evaluate existing chemistry assessments from practical and theoretical aspects

    • Students will be able to describe the case for validity of specific chemistry assessments

    • Students will be able to propose a suite of assessments to aid in program evaluation

    • Students will be able to identify an alternative assessment technique and present the learning theory and evidence to support its use and limits of use

  31. Major Topics: • Normative versus criterion reference

    • A framework for validity of educational assessments

    • Methods for detecting cheating

    • Methods to investigate item bias

    • Alternative assessment techniques such as concept maps and demonstrations

    • Use of value-added models in assessment scoring

  32. Textbooks: Recommended textbooks: Introduction to Classical & Modern Test Theory by Crocker and Algina. Scoring Rubrics in the Classroom; Using Performance Criteria for Assessing and Improving Student Performance by Arter and McTighe.
  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: Course readings include research articles and review articles that seek to investigate established assessment practices or present alternative assessment practices. Journal articles can be selected from Journal of Chemical Education, Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation and Assessment in Higher Education.
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Projects

    1. Develop a multiple choice exam pertaining to a chemistry topic of your choice. The exam should be appropriate in length for a one-hour time frame. Included with the exam will be a list of learning objectives the exam is intended to measure and a detailed description of the target population for this exam (approximately three pages). (15% of overall grade)

    2. Analyze results from a multiple choice exam in the context of validity, discriminatory power and bias (approximately eight pages). (15% of overall grade)

    3. Develop and administer an alternative assessment discussed in class, pertaining to a chemistry topic of the student’s choice. If one is unable to administer it to an authentic sample, then it can be administered to the class. Upon administration, there will be a write up of scoring of student responses and the validity and discriminatory power of this assessment (approximately five pages). (20% of overall grade)


    1. A midterm will be given in Week 6 or 7 that will focus on testing theory and the design of traditional assessment techniques in chemistry. This midterm is worth 15% of the overall grade.

    2. A final exam will be given in Week 15 that will focus on alternative assessment techniques presented. This final exam is worth 15% of the overall grade.

    Attendance / participation

    This class will work largely in a seminar format, where students’ contributions to the topics discussed will aid the effectiveness of the class. For this reason, attendance will be regularly taken in class and missing any more than two classes (for any reason) will result in a point deduction from this category. Additionally, participation in group-work and class presentations will also be assessed here. This category will represent 20% of the overall grade.

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Grading is dependent on three projects: 1) developing a traditional assessment (15%); 2) investigating the validity of a traditional assessment (15%); and 3) develop, administer and validate an alternative assessment (20%). Additionally a mid-term and final exam will be worth 15% each of the overall grade. Finally, regular attendance and participation in the class meetings will be evaluated and comprise 20% of the overall grade.

    90 – 100% A

    80 – 89% B

    70 – 79% C

    60 – 69% D

    Below 60% F

  36. Attendance Policy: Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: Missed assignments with a valid and verifiable medical or legal reason that makes missed assignments out of the student’s control will be accepted at the next class meeting. Missed assignments without a reason as listed above will necessarily result in a grade penalty.
  38. Program This Course Supports: Chemistry
  39. Course Concurrence Information: Cell and Molecular Biology, Integrative Biology, Geology, Mathematics and Physics.

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