This paper seeks to provide some insights into the assessment of student understanding within a systems thinking perspective. Results are based on work carried out using a general chemistry curriculum that, although not developed with such a framework, shares some of its underlying intentions. After describing how chemical systems thinking is conceptualized in the paper, a specific example of an assessment tool is described and discussed to illustrate major points in our analysis. Results of a qualitative pilot study using this instrument are presented and used to highlight potentialities and challenges in teaching and assessing student understanding using a systems thinking framework. A majority of study participants expressed sophisticated ways of reasoning based on the properties and interactions of relevant components and processes in the system under consideration. Nevertheless, they could not easily connect and apply their understanding of theoretical chemical models and practices to the realities of the system.
- Chemical Education Research
- First-Year Undergraduate/General
- Systems Thinking
ASJC Scopus subject areas