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ERIC Number: EJ1154760
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6811
Using Test Data to Find Misconceptions in Secondary Science
Fuchs, Travis T.; Arsenault, Mike
School Science Review, v98 n364 p31-36 Mar 2017
Students, as well as teachers, often learn what makes sense to them, even when it is wrong. These misconceptions are a problem. The authors sought a quick, quantitative way of identifying student misconceptions in secondary science. Using the University of Toronto's National Biology Competition test data, this article presents a method of quickly identifying misconceptions that agree with many facets of the extant misconception literature (ubiquity across subject areas, pervasiveness regardless of question difficulty, and distractive power). Seeking students' most common wrong answer on a multiple-choice test is found to be a fast, reliable, and data-driven way to identify misconceptions.
Association for Science Education. College Lane Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA, UK. Tel: +44-1-707-283000; Fax: +44-1-707-266532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A