One key challenge facing the Exams Institute these days is the changing demands that instructors face in terms of assessment. In some sense, as chemistry teachers increasingly find themselves expected to participate in departmental level assessment efforts, the way they view the testing of student learning starts to change. Within such a dynamic educational environment, it’s not surprising that we hear from more people about what ACS Exams can help them do. It’s also not surprising that these newer interests in assessment point towards needs that are not always met with the traditional materials that our test development committees produce. So are there ways in which the Institute can remain true to its 80 year tradition and at the same time adjust to help provide materials that meet the new assessment demands?
We certainly hope our responses are heading in that direction. One important activity that comes to mind is that we have become more intentional in the way that we design our traditional products so that they yield more helpful results for users. A particularly important aspect of this is to empower the exam development committees to ask more questions about user needs and assessment theory in order to craft better exams. Three examples of how this works are operative in the current development portfolio of ACS Exams. (more…)