Submitted by Chin Hin Leung / Rhode Island College on Mon, 10/18/2010 - 14:47

Hello Everyone,

How many of you use ACS exams as part of your inorganic course? How are they being used? (part of the exam, interspersed, as model for your own questions etc) I am new to teaching and is currently teaching Inorganic 1 at a small(er) state college. Any advice on this would be much appreciated!



Lori Watson / Earlham College
I've only used it once, as the final exam for my junior/senior level inorganic course.  I only graded (for my class) the items on the exam that I know I had covered, though they took the entire exam (I thought it would be good practice for the GRE's).  However, the exam really doesn't fit well with what I focus on in my course (I teach very little descriptive chemistry) and I generally like to have my exams NOT be multiple choice which is why I haven't used it since.  What I've thought about doing in the future is give it to my students as a "practice" final.  Has anyone used it this way?
Mon, 10/18/2010 - 16:45 Permalink
Anne Bentley / Lewis & Clark College
Our department uses the ACS exams as an "exit" exam for graduating majors as part of our assessment reports.  I usually include a few multiple choice questions on the final exam for the inorganic course, and I often use the GRE as inspiration.  They are a small percentage (maybe 10%) of the total points on the exam.  Some of them can be very tough questions.  (Others are much easier.)
Tue, 10/19/2010 - 12:55 Permalink
Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College

I go back and forth about the utility of the ACS exams.  When I'm feeling like they are useful, it's because they serve as a good practice for the GRE.  When I'm feeling like they are less-useful, it's because I teach less than 1/2 of the contents of the exam in my course.  Much of the rest of the material they learn in other courses, but I don't teach it in mine, so I question how relevant it is to evaluating *my* course.  I have also extracted the questions I have taught and had them taken only those questions.

When I use the exam, it is almost always one of two exams, this one and a more relevant (for what I teach/value) problem based exam.

Tue, 10/19/2010 - 15:17 Permalink
Jim Goll / Edgewood College
The ACS exam doesn't fit well with the way and the content of what I teach.
Thu, 10/21/2010 - 17:21 Permalink
Barbara Reisner / James Madison University

The ACS exam is NOT a great fit for what we teach, but it is a great opportunity to give our students practice with multiple choice tests. (This is something they need.)

I give the exam most every semester in my 2nd semester course. It is one of two final exams. And I normalize the grade relative to the number of questions that I think they should be able to answer based on their experience in Inorganic II and the pre-requisite courses and labs.

It is a nice way to keep tabs on how our students do from semester to semester.

Sat, 10/23/2010 - 08:38 Permalink