The ability to coherently assess content knowledge throughout an entire undergraduate career represents a significant advantage for programmatic assessment strategies. Chemistry, as a discipline, has an unusual tool in this regard because of the nationally standardized exams from the ACS Exams Institute. These exams are norm-referenced and allow chemistry departments to make comparisons between the performance of their own students relative to national samples; however, currently there appears to be no systematic means for noting students’ content knowledge growth over a four-year degree. The Exams Institute is undertaking the task of organizing content along an anchoring concept or “big ideas” framework to facilitate this type of analysis.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thomas_holme/12/