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ChemEd 2003 Auburn University, July 27-31, 2003. A Methodology for the Simultaneous Assessment of Cognitive and Content Domains. Ray A. Gross, Jr. Prince George’s Community College Largo, Maryland. My Final Objective for Today. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: ChemEd 2003 Auburn University, July 27-31, 2003

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ChemEd 2003Auburn University, July 27-31, 2003

Page 2: ChemEd 2003 Auburn University, July 27-31, 2003

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A Methodology for the Simultaneous Assessment of

Cognitive and Content Domains

Ray A. Gross, Jr.

Prince George’s Community CollegeLargo, Maryland

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My Final Objective for Today

• To provide a methodology for identifying student weaknesses--both in content areas and cognitive skills

• So that you may use the methodology to find weaknesses and then devise strategies to overcome the weaknesses

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My Intermediate Objective

• To show how to develop a set of desired learning outcomes (DLOs) that reflect what is actually tested and can also be assessed

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Outline of Presentation

1. Define terms

2. Develop content categories

3. Marry content and cognitive categories in a matrix

4. Write DLOs from the matrix

5. Code exam questions for assessment

6. Prepare an assessment matrix

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What is a DLO?

A statement written by an instructor to a student telling the student by an action verb (related to a cognitive skill) what the instructor expects the student to be able to demonstrate during a semester for a specific topic (related to a content area).

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What is a DLO?

• A statement the instructor can use to code exam questions so that the questions can be assessed by content area and cognitive skill in a systematic and consistent fashion.

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Example of a DLO

• Predict products for name reactions such as the Grignard and Wittig reactions.

• A DLO completes the phrase—“Upon successful completion of this course, a student should (or will) be able to:”

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A Set of DLOs

• The number of DLOs determined by the instructor to cover the content domain of the course.

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Two Elements in a DLO

• Cognitive Skill—A mental process used by a person in problem solving (general – applies to all courses)

• Content Area—A portion of a course defined by the instructor (specific – applies to a given course)

• Time—A semester

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What are the Cognitive Skills?

• Some person’s idea of the mental processes humans use to solve problems (i.e., learn).

• Bloom’s Taxonomy: Six ways of thinking or six cognitive skills humans use to solve problems, rank ordered by complexity. These six skills span all disciplines and are adopted for use herein.

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Bloom’s Cognitive Domain

A. Knowledge--rote

B. Comprehension—grasp meaning

C. Application—use material in new situations

D. Analysis—break material into components

E. Synthesis—put parts together

F. Evaluation—use judgment

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Content Domain

• A list of content areas that can be subdivided into course topics

• The content domain is course specific and must be determined by the instructor.

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Content Domain

• Course topics are derived from content areas in the same way action verbs are derived from cognitive areas.

• An example of a content domain is shown on the next slide for organic chemistry.

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A Content Domain (Orgo)

1. Nomenclature2. Equations3. Mechanisms4. Problems 5. Synthesis6. Explanations7. Correlations8. Classifications9. Definitions

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Your Content Domain

• Determined initially by what you have tested in the past

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Limits of Assessment

• The cognitive domain (six alphabetic items) and content domain (nine numeric items) define the level to which the course is subdivided for assessment purposes.

• For the example, a 6 x 9 matrix defines the parameters for assessment and the corresponding DLOs.

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What is a Cognitive-Content Matrix?

• A way of showing how the content and cognitive domains are interrelated

• A way of showing how the two independent variables that make up a set of DLOs are related

• A tool for qualitatively or quantitatively assessing an evaluation or combined evaluations

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Cog

Cont

Kno

A

Com

B

App

C

Ana

D

Syn

E

Evl

F

1-- x x x

2-- x x

3-- x

4-- x

5-- x x x

6-- x

Hypothetical Cognitive-Content Matrix

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Before Developing Content Domain--we will use Organic Nomenclature to:

• Explore how a given content area may be assessed by all six cognitive skills

• Learn how to dissect a question into its cognitive and content components

• Learn how to code a question by its content and cognitive components

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Six Cognitive Codes for each Content Code

• Content area 1 = Nomenclature

• DLOs may be coded from 1-A to 1-F

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A. Knowledge—rote

Q1. Write the name of CH4?

Code = 1. Nomenclature

A. Knowledge

• The student is intimately familiar

with the item.

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B. Comprehension—grasp meaning

Q2. Give the IUPAC name of CH3CH(CH3)CH3.

Code = 1. Nomenclature

B. Comprehension

• The formula is not new to the student; the instructor discussed it prior to the exam.

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C. Application—use material in new situations

Q3. Give the IUPAC name for CH3C(CH3)2CH(CH3)CH3.

Code = 1. Nomenclature

C. Application

• Student has never seen this structure before; nomenclature rules are applied.

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D. Analysis—break material into components

Q4. What is the parent hydrocarbon of 3-isopropyl-4-methylheptane.

Code = 1. Nomenclature

D. Analysis

• The name is broken into its component parts to find parent name.

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E. Synthesis—put parts together

• Q5. What is the IUPAC name of the structure on your right?

Code = 1. Nomenclature

E. Synthesis

• Component parts must be assembled into a name; requires analysis then synthesis.

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F. Evaluation—use judgment

O

N

OH

O

OHCH3O O

N

OH

O

CH3Odehydration rearrangement

?

8 9

Figure 1

• A research group studied the mechanism for the dehydration and rearrangement of the aglucone 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-2H-1,4-benzoxazin-3(4H)-one (8) into 3-formyl-6-methoxybenzoxazolin-2(3H)-one (9) by the reagent N-ethoxycarbonyltrichloroacetaldimine.

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F. Evaluation—use judgment(continued)

• Q6. The carbon atom in 8, indicated by the question mark in Figure 1, should be given what number by nomenclature rules?

• Code = 1. Nomenclature

F. Evaluation

• Judgment is required in comparing two ring systems, which students haven’t seen before.

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Summary

• All six cognitive skills (codes A-F) might be tested against nomenclature (code 1).

• In theory, 54 (6 x 9) question types might be formulated for organic chemistry.

• For any course in which Bloom’s taxonomy is adopted, a similar matrix is theoretically possible.

• In practice, only a fraction of the possible codes is needed.

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How is the Content Domain Developed?

• By analysis not synthesis

• Analyze previous exams, categorize each Q by content

• Consolidate the content in the questions into a content domain

• Also, categorize each Q by cognitive category as you go (Bloom’s A-F)

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Content Development Process

1. Make a content domain of about 8 categories.

2. Code previous questions into one of the categories by number.

3. Add categories if necessary.

4. Consolidate categories if necessary.

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The Process is a Retro-Analysis of each Question

5. Concurrently, code each Q by letter—a Bloom cognitive skill (e.g., C).

6. Use the codes to make a qualitative content—cognitive matrix (see slide 18).

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Build a Qualitative Cognitive-Content Matrix

• Lay out a content vs cognitive matrix by number and letter codes.

• Each dual-coded Q (e.g., 7D, 4C, and 6F) equates to a box in the matrix.

• Place an X in each box that is represented by a dual-coded Q.

• The result is a qualitative matrix• It shows what you actually tested by content

and cognitive categories.

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Qualitative Matrix

• Shows which content and cognitive categories are to be assessed or were assessed

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Cog

Cont

Kno

A

Com

B

App

C

Ana

D

Syn

E

Evl

F

1-- x x x

2-- x x

3-- x

4-- x

5-- x x x

6-- x

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Subordinate Cognitive Domain to Content Domain

• In order to minimize the number of DLOs, the cognitive domain is subordinated to the content domain, so that only nine DLOs are needed for the 54 possibilities.

• The cognitive skill for a specific question will be evident by the letter code you assign when the question is formulated.

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Use the Qualitative Matrix to Develop DLOs

Cognitive

Content

Know.

A

Comp.

B

Appl.

C

Nomen.

1.

X

Identify

Name or Draw

X

(Re)write

Name or Draw

X

Construct or Formulate

Name or Draw

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Consolidation of Cognitive Skills

• One or more verbs that encompass all of the cognitive skills tested are married with the content category to arrive at a single DLO for nomenclature.

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Construct DLO

• Name chemical species from structures and draw structures from names.

• This is the DLO for nomenclature.

• Develop DLOs for each content category in the same way.

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Cognitive-Content Linkage

Application

Applies principles to new situtations

CognitiveGeneral Instructional Objectives Verb for

Specific LO

Predict

Reaction products

Content

Equations

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Process Marries Domains

• For the next exam, dual code each Q.

• Assign points for each Q and develop a quantitative matrix.

• Determine max points for each box.

• Calculate student percentages for each box.

• Both content and cognitive skills are assessable.

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Dual Coding Process

• Allows instructor to predetermine the mix of content and cognitive skills to be assessed for each evaluation

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Coding Example 1

• Which compound, ethanol, ethane or diethyl ether has the highest boiling point?

• Content = 7. Correlation (property—structure) • Cognitive = D. Analysis or B. Comprehension

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Note

• In the previous example, an instructor who covered the specific question in class would code the question as a comprehension, whereas an instructor who covered the principles involved but not the specific question would code the question as an application.

• (Added per ChemEd 2003 participation!)

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Coding Example 2

• Calculate the degrees of unsaturation in C5H10O.

• Content = 4. Problem• Cognitive = C. Application

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Coding Example 3

• Explain why the nitration of bromobenzene is slower than that of benzene yet produces an ortho,para product.

• Cognitive = 6. Evaluation • Content = F. Explanation

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A Partial Quantitative Matrix

CognitiveContent

Totals ↓ A B C D E F

1 80% 90 70 80

2 70% 70

3 48% 48

4 70% 66 67 75

Totals %

90 70 55 69 80 75

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Quantitative Matrix

• See the Word document (in the folder with these PowerPoint slides) for an actual quantitative matrix.

• The quantitative matrix identifies student strengths and weaknesses.

• A strategy for improving weaknesses can be developed from the identified weaknesses.

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Summary• Content areas may be assessed against each

applicable cognitive skill by dual coding test questions.

• Content-cognitive weaknesses can be identified and actions formulated to improve student learning in those areas.

• The skill levels (i.e., degree of higher-order thinking) for a given exam can be determined in advance by systematically coding exam questions as they are prepared.

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Comments

• The DLOs provide a methodology for doing a macro-assessment that is useful for instructors.

• For the DLOs to be meaningful for students, examples of coded test questions for each teaching block are probably necessary.