Undergraduate Education Program

University of Colorado, Boulder

Derek Briggs, Robert Talbot, Jenny Knight
Boulder, CO
$300,000
December 2014

Concept Inventories are written to assess undergraduate student understanding of canonical “big picture” ideas in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.  However, the inferences about student learning that Concept Inventories can support have not been systematically studied.  This project will examine the relationship between student performance on a recently developed Concept Inventory, the Genetics Concept Assessment, relative to performance on newly developed open-response items and locally developed end-of-course exams.  Instructors teaching introductory genetics at eight different undergraduate institutions will participate, with student enrollments ranging from a low of 25 to a high of about 400.  Using a pre-post design the team plans to examine the alignment of the Genetics Concept Assessment with local exams and newly developed open-response items by comparing student learning gains within and across participating classrooms.  This work will help instructors think about the quality of their local assessment items and the relationship between those items and the Genetics Concept Assessment.  In addition, the team will generate a set of recommendations for the development and validation of new Concept Inventories across all disciplines.

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