Characterizing high school chemistry teachers' use of assessment data via latent class analysis†
In this study, which builds on a previous qualitative study and literature review, high school chemistry teachers' characteristics regarding the design of chemistry formative assessments and interpretation of results for instructional improvement are identified. The Adaptive Chemistry Assessment Survey for Teachers (ACAST) was designed to elicit these characteristics in both generic formative assessment prompts and chemistry-specific prompts. Two adaptive scenarios, one in gases and one in stoichiometry, required teachers to design and interpret responses to formative assessments as they would in their own classrooms. A national sample of 340 high school chemistry teachers completed the ACAST. Via latent class analysis of the responses, it was discovered that a relatively small number of teachers demonstrated limitations in aligning items with chemistry learning goals. However, the majority of teachers responded in ways consistent with a limited consideration of how item design affects interpretation. Details of these characteristics are discussed. It was also found that these characteristics were largely independent of demographics such as teaching experience, chemistry degree, and teacher education. Lastly, evidence was provided regarding the content- and topic-specificity of the characteristics by comparing responses from generic formative assessment prompts to chemistry-specific prompts.