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ERIC Number: EJ1145698
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
University Students' Conceptual Knowledge of Randomness and Probability in the Contexts of Evolution and Mathematics
Fiedler, Daniela; Tröbst, Steffen; Harms, Ute
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v16 n2 Article 38 Jun 2017
Students of all ages face severe conceptual difficulties regarding key aspects of evolution-- the central, unifying, and overarching theme in biology. Aspects strongly related to abstract "threshold" concepts like randomness and probability appear to pose particular difficulties. A further problem is the lack of an appropriate instrument for assessing students' conceptual knowledge of randomness and probability in the context of evolution. To address this problem, we have developed two instruments, Randomness and Probability Test in the Context of Evolution (RaProEvo) and Randomness and Probability Test in the Context of Mathematics (RaProMath), that include both multiple-choice and free-response items. The instruments were administered to 140 university students in Germany, then the Rasch partial-credit model was applied to assess them. The results indicate that the instruments generate reliable and valid inferences about students' conceptual knowledge of randomness and probability in the two contexts (which are separable competencies). Furthermore, RaProEvo detected significant differences in knowledge of randomness and probability, as well as evolutionary theory, between biology majors and preservice biology teachers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A