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Investigating the viability of a competency-based, qualitative laboratory assessment model in first-year undergraduate chemistry


Pullen, R and Thickett, SC and Bissember, AC, Investigating the viability of a competency-based, qualitative laboratory assessment model in first-year undergraduate chemistry, Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 19 pp. 629-637. ISSN 1756-1108 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

ŠThe Royal Society of Chemistry 2018

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DOI: doi:10.1039/C7RP00249A


In chemistry curricula, both the role of the laboratory program and the method of assessment used are subject to scrutiny and debate. The ability to identify clearly defined competencies for the chemistry laboratory program is crucial, given the numerous other disciplines that rely on foundation-level chemistry knowledge and practical skills. In this report, we describe the design, implementation, results, and feedback obtained on a competency-based assessment model recently introduced into the firstyear laboratory program at an Australian university. Previously, this laboratory program was assessed via a quantitative, criterion-referenced assessment model. At the core of this new model was a set of competency criteria relating to skills-acquisition, chemical knowledge and application of principles, safety in the laboratory, as well as professionalism and teamwork. By design, these criteria were aligned with the learning outcomes of the course and the degree itself, as well as local accrediting bodies. Qualitative and quantitative feedback from students (and staff) obtained before and after the implementation of this new model suggested this approach provided an enhanced learning experience enabling a greater focus on the acquisition of fundamental laboratory skills and techniques.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:competency-based assessment, laboratory, undergraduate chemistry
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum
UTAS Author:Pullen, R (Mr Reyne Pullen)
UTAS Author:Thickett, SC (Associate Professor Stuart Thickett)
UTAS Author:Bissember, AC (Associate Professor Alex Bissember)
ID Code:125157
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Chemistry
Deposited On:2018-04-03
Last Modified:2019-03-06

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