J. Díaz, G. Silvero, M.J. Arévalo Caballero, I. López-Coca

Universidad de Extremadura (SPAIN)
The present work focuses on the way that laboratory labour of a course on Chemistry can be evaluated. The undergraduate´s interest in a teaching-learning process is a goal to look for. This aim is even more needed in Technical teaching degrees.

Materials Chemistry is a second year course of the Civil Engineering degree in the University of Extremadura. This subject is divided in theoretical and practical sessions. Laboratory session used to be evaluated through hangouts and/or exams. Unsatisfactory results pointed out we should use a new methodology to assess and evaluate the practical learning in the laboratories.

There are many definitions of what a rubric is, but basically is an assessment tool often spread like a matrix, which describes levels of achievement in a specific area of performance, understanding, or behavior [1]. There are two main types of rubrics, the analytic and the holistic rubrics and, also, there is the option of using a combination of both. The analytic ones consists in a simple scale, while a holistic rubric specifies at least two characteristics to be assessed at each performance level and provides a separate score for each characteristic [2].

It is well-known how feedback is as necessary as complementary for teachers in order to establish the concepts learnt, the skills acquired or any other aspect that should be considered. The rubrics are, indeed, known as a good way to assess and get a feedback [3]. Laboratory sessions have to have as the main goal the development of the discovery skills of scientific phenomena, problem resolution, data collection and analysis, etc. To properly assess all these aspects the design of a good evaluation system is a must.

The rubric we present has been adapted, designed, specified and concretized in order to different teachers could evaluate in the same way the same students. The rubric has 6 different groups of questions, and each one is, at the same time, divided in different specific items we have chosen. The main groups are: Attitude, Aptitude, Developing, Effort, Use time wisely, Calculation and Teamwork.

The complementary assessment categories we have considered are punctuality, tidiness, clarity, problem-solving ability, emerging, accuracy….all of them are included in one or another group above cited and evaluated in 5 different marks, 0 for 0% and the maximum result 4 for 100%.

[1] a) Gordillo, T.; Perera Rodríguez, V. Revista de Medios y Educación, 36, Enero 2010, 141-149; b) Nitko, A. J. (1996). Educational Assessment of Students, 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
[2] Shadle, S.; Brown, E.; Towns, M.; Warner, D. J. Chem. Ed., 2012, 89, 319-325.
[3] Genaro, L.A.T.; Murray, P.N. Revista Educativa Hekademos, 13, año VI, 35-42.