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The American Chemical Society General Chemistry Performance Expectations Project: From Task Force to Distributed Process for Implementing Multidimensional Learning

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-04-29, 15:09 authored by Samuel Pazicni, Donald J. Wink, Ashley Donovan, John A. Conrad, Joshua P. Darr, Rachel A. Morgan Theall, Dana L. Richter-Egger, Adrian Villalta-Cerdas, Deborah Rush Walker
This contribution reports the process and outcomes of a multiyear effort that supported institutions in reforming general chemistry using multidimensional learning approaches in the form of performance expectations. Performance expectations are based on evidence-centered assessment design principles and describe what learners should be able to do with their knowledge, a subtle (but profound) shift from traditional course learning goals. The effort grew from the recommendations of a task force appointed in 2015 by the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Education and Society Committee on Education. This task force recommended a participatory process for creating general chemistry performance expectations that was distributed over, and also coordinated across, multiple institutions. With support from the ACS Education Division, this recommendation was enacted through workshops which supported faculty in developing activities and assessments that integrated content, science and engineering practices, and cross-cutting conceptsa three-dimensional structure based on the National Research Council report A Framework for K-12 Education. From these workshops, a group of faculty committed to implementing three-dimensional performance expectations in their courses evolved. In practice, these faculty found that their institutional work resulted in designing learning performances that, while also three-dimensional, were of narrower content focus than is typical of performance expectations. This development process also led faculty to use the structures of evidence-centered design and multidimensional learning to document learning activity designs in new ways, generating a consensus activity structure. As examples of how faculty used this consensus activity structure as a new way to examine student learning and performances, development artifacts from four of the participating institutions is presented.