Assessing Conceptual versus Algorithmic Knowledge: Are We Engendering New Myths in Chemical Education?
Studies over the past two decades have emphasized a gap between relatively weak student performance on conceptual items versus traditional items. The ACS Examinations Institute has released a pair of exams for general chemistry in which items are intentionally paired with one conceptual and one traditional item. This paper describes data from statistical analysis of the item pairs, and notes that for these exams, this gap is not evident, as overall performance is better on conceptual items. Possible implications for teaching and for research in Chemistry Education are noted.
Reprinted (adapted) with permission from ACS Symposium Series, Chapter 12, pp 195–206 Vol. 1074. Copyright 2011 American Chemical Society.