A novel practical pedagogy for terminal assessment†
The present paper reports upon the design and implementation of a novel practical work pedagogy that is shown to increase students’ retention of practical procedures. The chemistry exams, for 15 to 16-year olds in England, will be assessed entirely through terminal examination questions from 2018. Longer term retention of learning is critical if these students are to minimise any discrepancy in attainment that may arise from following curricula with a coursework component. The novel design, underpinned by Cognitive Load Theory and Social Constructivism, involves pre-laboratory preparation and employs oracy to promote thinking during practical work. Three equivalent chemistry groups within the same school undertook neutralisation and crystallisation practical tasks and their practical work exam question attainment data is analysed. The novel pedagogy is trialled as a neutralisation task with one group and affective outcomes are determined through Likert scale activity feedback questionnaire. Attainment data shows a statistically significant higher mark in practical exam question attainment for the intervention compared to the control group when tested ten weeks after the teaching episode.