The effects of using rubric-based formative assessments with feedback to close the loop of understanding on students' understanding of high school chemistry concepts

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Montana State University - Bozeman, Graduate School


Over the past years teaching chemistry, I have noticed there are some topics which constantly pose a challenge to students. From my own observation and interaction with my students, I have always thought that my students understand the concepts I am teaching. However, when it comes to taking tests and doing assessments in these areas students do not seem to demonstrate the knowledge and understanding required. Through my readings, I have noticed the use of rubrics as an important assessment technique, which can help students perform well on a given task. As a result, I have decided to investigate what will be the effect of using rubric-based formative assessment on students understanding and motivation to learn chemistry. I chose my 10th grade chemistry class as the focus on my project. Baseline comparison data were collected during a nontreatment unit on atomic structure through the use of pre, post and delayed concept map, interviews, surveys, and traditional assessments test. I then implemented two treatment units that utilized rubric-based assessment. The first treatment unit focused on ionic bonding and compounds and the second focused on covalent bonding and compounds. These two treatment units incorporated the use of pre, post, and delayed concept maps, interviews, survey, projects, labs, unit test and self-reflections journal. After I analyzed pre and postunit concept maps, interviews and surveys, I determined that the implementation of rubric-based assessment did not have any significant improvement on students understanding. The data from the post and delayed assessment concept maps, interviews, surveys and unit test indicated that students' long-term memory increased. Students' responses on the student survey, and my reflective journal entries indicated that students were responding very positive to the different types of assessments being utilized with the incorporation of rubrics and that their long-term memory, attitude, motivation were increased. As a result, my attitude and motivation towards teaching chemistry also increased.




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