Item Alignment Project

Item Alignment

This project is aimed at aligning examination items with the Anchoring Concepts Content Maps to better understand the content coverage of ACS Exams. Through these studies, we capture the current state of content coverage and identify “conceptual holes” in which there are little to no examination items that cover a particular content area, both on released examinations and on trial examinations. Through alignment of multiple exams across the curriculum, we are able to consider longitudinal programmatic assessment by content area.


  • Zenisky, A. L., & Murphy, K. L. (2013). Developing a content map and alignment process for the undergraduate curriculum in chemistry. InTrajectories of chemistry education innovation and reform (pp. 79-91). American Chemical Society.
  • Luxford, C. J., Linenberger, K. J., Raker, J. R., Baluyut, J. Y., Reed, J. J., De Silva, C., & Holme, T. A. (2014). Building a database for the historical analysis of the general chemistry curriculum using ACS general chemistry exams as artifacts.Journal of Chemical Education92(2), 230-236.
  • Luxford, C. J., & Holme, T. A. (2015). What Do Conceptual Holes in Assessment Say about the Topics We Teach in General Chemistry?.Journal of Chemical Education92(6), 993-1002.
  • Reed, J. J., Luxford, C. J., Holme, T. A., Raker, J. R., & Murphy, K. L. (2016). Using the ACS Anchoring Concepts Content Map (ACCM) To Aid in the Evaluation and Development of ACS General Chemistry Exam Items. InTechnology and Assessment Strategies for Improving Student Learning in Chemistry (pp. 179-194). American Chemical Society.
  • Reed, J. J., Villafañe, S. M., Raker, J. R., Holme, T. A., & Murphy, K. L. (2017). What We Don’t Test: What an Analysis of Unreleased ACS Exam Items Reveals about Content Coverage in General Chemistry Assessments.Journal of Chemical Education94(4), 418-428.
  • Marek, K., Raker, J.R., Holme, T.A., & Murphy, K.L. (2018) Alignment of ACS Inorganic Chemistry Examination Items to the Anchoring Concepts Content Map. Journal of Chemical Education, 95, 1468–1476.