IUPAC International Conference of Chemical Education 2018

Assessment of practical chemistry: towards a systemic approach

Author: Erduran, S. (2018, July).

Conference: IUPAC International Conference of Chemical Education, Sydney, Australia 10 July 2018  – 14 July 2018

Abstract: The terminology “practical science” has been widely used in the curriculum, exam board specifications and research traditions in science education for several decades in England. For example, the Royal Society has used the as “…a shorthand for the full programme of experimental and investigative activities conducted as part of science education in schools and colleges” (House of Lords, 2006, p. 63). According to major reviews of research literature undertaken by Reiss, Abraham and Sharpe (2012) and Dillon (2008), there is evidence that the assessment regime in England and Wales has had a major impact on practical work that teachers carry out. There is growing concern that the amount and quality of practical work carried out in schools suffer as a result of the impact of the national tests in science. The presentation will focus on a project funded by the Wellcome Trust addressing summative assessment in a systemic fashion to improve the quality and impact of summative assessments on teaching and learning of practical science. The project – a collaboration between assessment researchers, science teacher educators and exam board professionals -uses a systemic approach by focusing on review of evidence from research and assessment policy; designing and testing new summative assessments; incorporating the assessment tasks and rubrics in classroom-based summative assessments to observe their implementation; and finally, considering teachers’ and pupils views of their utility.  Examples of practical chemistry assessments and their use by teachers and pupils will be shared, and broader implications for chemistry education will be discussed.