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Education Sciences

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DOI: 10.3390/educsci13121235


Across a variety of fields, the use of low-stakes assessments has led to reductions in achievement gaps and improved student success. Here, we probe the use of a low-stakes assessment model with a retake option for failed quizzes in a two-semester general chemistry sequence. We find that the quiz-retake rate in general chemistry II was significantly higher for students who had completed a retake in a general chemistry I section, and the percentage of students who failed at least one quiz in general chemistry I but passed all quizzes in general chemistry II was significantly higher for students who had retaken at least one quiz in general chemistry I. However, across both semesters only 40% of students who failed a quiz and were offered a retake completed one. To examine this trend, we probed a connection to student attitudes and self-concept. As instruments, we used version 2 of the Attitudes towards Chemistry Subject Inventory (ASCIv2) and the Chemistry Subject Concept Inventory (CSCI), which were administered across all sections of our general chemistry I course in the fall 2021 semester, and the results subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. Two sections employed low-stakes assessments (quizzes), with one section offering a retake option, while the remaining two used a traditional assessment pattern of five exams. The instruments were applied again for the quiz-retake section of general chemistry II, affording a longitudinal comparison of students common to both sections. In a pairwise comparison, we find significant increases in factors corresponding to Intellectual Accessibility and Chemistry Self-Concept for students in the quiz-retake sections across semesters, with the former more pronounced for men and the latter for women. We take these results to provide additional data supporting the benefit of low-stakes assessments with a retake option, that may be particularly impactful for women in chemistry.


Published version. Education Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 12 (2023). DOI. © 2023 by the Authors.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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