The release of the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards has important implications for classroom teaching and assessment. Of particular interest is the implementation of science practices in the chemistry classroom, and the definitions established by the NRC makes these objectives much more tangible. However, this still may leave some wondering about how to begin making these changes. Mid-twentieth century chemical educators and pioneers of the first ACS exams advocated for testing science thinking and skills as early as the 1930s, and this necessitates a discussion about how early ACS exams measured these attributes. More recent debates have seen arguments that multiple-choice questions cannot measure high levels of cognitive ability in chemistry, which leaves questions about how ACS exams or instructors who write tests for large scale classrooms might try to measure science practices. The possibility that an analysis of the item formats used on ACS exams from 1934 to 1970 would help inform the creation of improved item types in testing today is investigated and presented here.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thomas_holme/17/