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Data Based Decisions

Chemistry Data Based Decisions

Chemistry Learning Objective 1

Criteria 1: Interpretation of Exit Exam Results

In 2016, the department undertook an analysis of the exit exam to insure the questions adequately map to course learning objectives.  Several questions were changed in the analytical, organic, and biochemistry sections of the exam.  No changes were deemed necessary to the physical and inorganic chemistry sections.  The revised exam was employed for the first time in 2017.  Fifteen senior chemistry majors took the exam in 2017.  Because of the small number of students taking the exam, the standard deviations for a single year are large.  The results from the 2017 exit exam were within a standard deviation of the historical 5-year average both by individual subject area and overall average.  This exit exam is modeled on the American Chemical Society standardized exams, where 50% correct is normally at about the 50th percentile nationally for all students taking the exam.  Therefore, our graduating seniors are considered to be performing similar to their national chemistry peers.

Criteria 2: Results of ACS examinations covering a specific chemistry area in depth.

Data from the ACS Instrumental Analysis exam show that for the CHEM 5650 course, USU chemistry students continued to perform well above their national peers in 2017. This has been the case historically for this exam.

No curriculum changes were deemed required based upon the results obtained from the capstone exit exam results and from the ACS standard exams administered in 2017.

Chemistry Learning Objective 2


The faculty involved in teaching the upper level chemistry laboratory sequences reviewed the performance of students taking laboratory courses in 2016 and determined no curriculum changes were deemed required based upon student performance in the various laboratories.


Chemistry Learning Objective 3


For the spring 2017 oral seminar presentations in the senior capstone course (CHEM 4990), all students were deemed to have done very well to excellent on their presentations. All students received combined scores of between 90% and 95% on their two presentations. Based upon these results, no curriculum changes were deemed required by the faculty.Content

Biochemistry Data Based Decisions

Biochemistry Learning Objective 1

Interpretation of ACS Exam Results

  1. The USU student scores on the ACS exam were on par with the national average.
  2. Students incorrectly answered questions about ASBMB Objectives 1 and 3 more than 50% of the time.
    1. There was only a single question on the ACS exam that could be mapped to Objective 1; therefore, the reliability of the statistics for this objective using this ACS exam is questionable and highlights the need for a Biochemistry exam that is more in line with the ASBMB objectives.
    2. The majority of questions that were incorrectly answered more than 50% of the time were questions related to metabolism and specific control mechanisms. The ACS Biochemistry exam is heavily weighted in this area, which is in contrast to the suggested ASBMB objectives and once again highlights, the need for a Biochemistry exam that is more in line with the ASBMB objectives.

Planned Curriculum Changes

We recently became aware of accreditation being sanctioned by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). We are in the process of transitioning/optimizing our curriculum, objectives, and assessment methods in order to be more in line with ASBMB accreditation requirements. Our long term goal is to work towards accreditation with the ASBMB and the eventual use of the standardized exam given by ASBMB for future program assessment.


Biochemistry
Learning Objective 2

Based upon the Biochemistry outcome data collected, no curricula changes are deemed necessary for this learning objective.

 

Biochemistry Learning Objective 3

In 2017, the majority of students performed well on the research project that also covers several of the ASBMB skills suggested by the ASBMB https://www.asbmb.org/education/educationstrategies/foundationalconcepts/skills/

Chemistry Teaching Major Data Based Decisions

Chemistry Learning Objective 1

Criteria 1: Interpretation of Exit Exam Results

The results from the 2017 exit exam are similar to the historical 5-year average both by individual area and overall average. The lower score in the Physical chemistry area may not be statistically relevant due to the smaller number of students taking the exam in 2017 (note higher standard deviations in 2017 scores). As this exit exam is modeled on the ACS standard exams where 50% correct is normally at about the 50th percentile nationally for all students taking the exam, students are considered to be performing similarly to their national chemistry peers.

Criteria 2: Results of ACS examinations covering a specific chemistry area in depth.

Data from the ACS Instrumental Analysis exam show that for the CHEM 5650 course, USU chemistry students are performing well above their national peers in 2017. This is also the case historically for this course.

Curriculum Changes Based upon Outcome data for Learning Objective 1

No curriculum changes were deemed required based upon the results obtained from the capstone exit exam results and from the various ACS standard exams administered in 2017.

The department is undertaking an update to the capstone course exit exam to broaden the questions to cover more course specific learning. A recent review of the exit exam coupled with mapping of the questions to specific course-by-course learning objectives (see link) indicated some course specific learning objectives were not being effectively tested, while others were linked to multiple questions. For the coming academic year, a revised exam will be employed.

Chemistry Learning Objective 2

The faculty involved in teaching the upper level chemistry laboratory sequences reviewed the performance of students taking laboratory courses in 2017 academic year, and determined no curriculum changes were required based upon student performance in the various laboratories.

Chemistry Learning Objective 3

For the spring 2017 oral seminar presentations in the senior capstone course (CHEM 4990), all students were deemed to have done very well to excellent on their presentations. All students received combined scores of between 90% and 95% on their two presentations. Based upon these results, no curriculum changes were deemed required by the faculty.

Chemistry Teaching Major Learning Objective 4

The STEP program coursework, clinical training, and student teaching experiences are administered by the College of Education and Human Services.  The pass rate by Chemistry Teaching majors on the PRAXIS content exam is very high, as shown on the Outcomes Data page.  Based on these results, no curriculum changes are deemed necessary in 2017.