Session S9b (Monday, 9:30am, Life Sciences 013)

P173: SChemEs (structured chemistry examinations): A novel method of “authentic” assessment to improve generic, practical and laboratory-based skills - WITHDRAWN

Stewart Kirton (University of Hertfordshire, UK)

With tuition fees in the UK rising to a maximum of £9000 in 2012, there will be renewed pressure on universities to provide courses that include extensive training in both subject-specific and generic skills (e.g., communication, time management, organisation), which help to facilitate a seamless transition from academia to employment. For graduates of the STEM disciplines, this includes embedding the generic, practical and laboratory-based skills associated with industrial research as an integral part of their training. A novel method of assessment SChemEs (Structured Chemistry Examinations) is presented which focuses on developing and rewarding competency in basic laboratory techniques, numeracy, apparatus assembly and handling, data interpretation and information management. Emphasising the importance of these skills for future employment and thus embedding them in an undergraduate’s skills portfolio will enhance graduate employability. SChemEs can be considered to be a move towards the “authentic” assessment which is held in high esteem by industry i.e., assessment based around tasks that students will perform on a daily basis as part of their employment. SChemEs were inspired by the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) used in clinical programmes. This work provides background on the development of SChemEs, an overview of how a SChemEs assessment runs and gives exemplar stations and grading criteria which could be used as part of the exercise.

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