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A Rubric for Diagnosing Knowledge of Experimental Design


An article on the "Development and Validation of a Rubric for Diagnosing Students' Experimental Design Knowledge and Difficulties" published by Annwesa Dasgupta with Trevor Anderson and Nancy Pelaez in the Journal CBE Life Sciences Education in June, 2014, was downloaded 1958 times in the first six months after publication. CBE—Life Sciences Education is an online, quarterly journal owned and published by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) in editorial partnership with the Genetics Society of America. The journal publishes original, previously unpublished, peer-reviewed articles on research and evaluation related to life sciences education, as well as articles about evidence-based biology instruction at all levels. The rubric for experimental design (RED) measures undergraduate biology students' knowledge of and difficulties with experimental design. The RED was informed by a literature review and empirical analysis of undergraduate biology students' responses to three published assessments. Five areas of difficulty with experimental design were identified: the variable properties of an experimental subject; the manipulated variables; measurement of outcomes; accounting for variability; and the scope of inference appropriate for experimental findings. Findings revealed that some difficulties, documented more than 50 yr ago, still exist among our undergraduate students, while others remain poorly investigated. A useful Glossary of Terms to support teaching about experimental design is provided as supplementary information.

SOURCE: Development and Validation of a Rubric for Diagnosing Students' Experimental Design Knowledge and Difficulties

Annwesa P. Dasgupta, Trevor R. Anderson, and Nancy Pelaez

CBE Life Sci Educ June 2, 2014 13:265-284; doi:10.1187/cbe.13-09-0192


Photo and article provided by Dr. Nancy Pelaez, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences.

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