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ERIC Number: EJ1032397
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Using Structured Chemistry Examinations (SCHemEs) as an Assessment Method to Improve Undergraduate Students' Generic, Practical, and Laboratory-Based Skills
Kirton, Stewart B.; Al-Ahmad, Abdullah; Fergus, Suzanne
Journal of Chemical Education, v91 n5 p648-654 May 2014
Increase in tuition fees means there will be renewed pressure on universities to provide "value for money" courses that provide extensive training in both subject-specific and generic skills. For graduates of chemistry this includes embedding the generic, practical, and laboratory-based skills associated with industrial research as an integral part of undergraduate training. Acknowledging the perception from industrial employers that the laboratory skills of high-achieving graduates in chemistry do not match their academic ability, we present SChemEs (structured chemistry examinations), a novel method of authentic assessment that focuses on developing and rewarding competency in the laboratory. Emphasizing the importance of these skills for future employment and thus embedding them in an undergraduate's skills portfolio will enhance graduate employability. This article outlines the methodological development of SChemEs (which was inspired by the objective structured clinical examinations used in clinical programs), provides an overview of how a SChemEs assessment runs, gives examples and grading criteria used in the exercise, and presents data from a pilot study on attainment and student viewpoint regarding SChemEs.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A