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ERIC Number: EJ1096846
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
EISSN: N/A
Examining the Impact of Question Surface Features on Students' Answers to Constructed-Response Questions on Photosynthesis
Weston, Michele; Haudek, Kevin C.; Prevost, Luanna; Urban-Lurain, Mark; Merrill, John
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v14 n2 Article 19 Jun 2015
One challenge in science education assessment is that students often focus on surface features of questions rather than the underlying scientific principles. We investigated how student written responses to constructed-response questions about photosynthesis vary based on two surface features of the question: the species of plant and the order of two question prompts. We asked four versions of the question with different combinations of the two plant species and order of prompts in an introductory cell biology course. We found that there was not a significant difference in the content of student responses to versions of the question stem with different species or order of prompts, using both computerized lexical analysis and expert scoring. We conducted 20 face-to-face interviews with students to further probe the effects of question wording on student responses. During the interviews, we found that students thought that the plant species was neither relevant nor confusing when answering the question. Students identified the prompts as both relevant and confusing. However, this confusion was not specific to a single version.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail: ascbinfo@ascb.org; Website: http://www.ascb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE1022653