Using scaffolding to improve review

Submitted by Fiona Lihs on
What is the Purpose of the Assessment?

CHM152 students routinely perform poorly on the review questions at the start of the semester.

Describe the necessity for this assessment

An informal assessment of student knowledge on the start of semester shows that over half the students don't have the ability to answer some more complex review questions.

Describe how the practice will be implemented

Adding improved scaffolding to the questions,  guided them through the initial thought processes.  Students routinely tried to write a balanced equation for a question where no reaction occurs, so we added the requirement of particle diagrams and a series of leading questions that guided the students to this understanding  

Interpret, compare, and describe the results

The initial addition of questions, which did not include particle diagrams, did a great job of revealing exactly where the problems in conceptual understand lay, however they did little improve the success of the students as many remained confused. The questions were revised to include the diagrams and plus the wording of two other questions changed and the ability of the class to complete the problems improved to over  80% success.  

After analyzing, and reflecting on the outcome, what are the next steps?

   The addition of scaffolding questions worked so well for this particular activity that I will be working on adding or improving them in many of my other exercises throughout the semester.  

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Average: 2.4 (5 votes)


Becky Baranowski Fri, 01/17/2020 - 11:24am

This is fantastic.  This is exactly why I have so many editions of my workbooks - I added scaffolding questions which has helped tremendously.  I am really glad that worked so well for you and your chemistry colleagues.  Thanks for taking time to document this through CATS.  

Catherine Cochran Tue, 01/28/2020 - 10:56am

Excellent job Fiona!  You are covering different learning style approaches by implementing the diagrams.  I'm glad to hear this was a success!