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Designing curriculum and assessment to promote effective learning in chemistry in higher education

Author - Christine O'Connor

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It is therefore important, as part of course design, to develop an evaluation programme which will provide evidence of the degree to which the programme meets its own goals and which also attempts to evaluate the programme from other perspectives.
(Toohey 1999: 197)

Module design and development is a dynamic process and to obtain meaningful information and to improve the module evaluation mechanisms must be put in place. Examples of evaluation mechanisms are questionnaires, interviews and checklists. Kosecoff and Fink (1982) have developed a five step approach to evaluation: (1) formulating questions and standards; (2) selecting a research design; (3) collecting information; (4) analysing information; and (5) reporting information.


The focus of this paper was to answer the initial question asked ‘What do I need to know?’ from a student’s perspective. The answer to this question has been made transparent by the development of coherent curricula through the use of learning outcomes, learning and teaching activities, delivery strategies, assessment strategies and evaluation mechanisms. I hope this brings some clarity to the reader on the importance of planning curricula design for chemical education and some food for thought on how that may be achieved.

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