ERIC Number: EJ1179304
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Identifying and Remediating Student Misconceptions in Introductory Biology via Writing-to-Learn Assignments and Peer Review
Halim, Audrey S.; Finkenstaedt-Quinn, Solaire A.; Olsen, Laura J.; Gere, Anne Ruggles; Shultz, Ginger V.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v17 n2 Article 28 Jun 2018
Student misconceptions are an obstacle in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses and unless remediated may continue causing difficulties in learning as students advance in their studies. Writing-to-learn assignments (WTL) are characterized by their ability to promote in-depth conceptual learning by allowing students to explore their understanding of a topic. This study sought to determine whether and what types of misconceptions are elicited by WTL assignments and how the process of peer review and revision leads to remediation or propagation of misconceptions. We examined four WTL assignments in an introductory biology course in which students first wrote about content by applying it to a realistic scenario, then participated in a peer-review process before revising their work. Misconceptions were identified in all four assignments, with the greatest number pertaining to protein structure and function. Additionally, in certain contexts, students used scientific terminology incorrectly. Analysis of the drafts and peer-review comments generated six profiles by which misconceptions were addressed through the peer-review process. The prevalent mode of remediation arose through directed peer-review comments followed by correction during revision. It was also observed that additional misconceptions were elicited as students revised their writing in response to general peer-review suggestions.
Descriptors: Misconceptions, Science Instruction, Biology, Introductory Courses, Content Area Writing, Peer Evaluation, Assignments, Comprehension, Scientific Concepts, Concept Formation, Writing Assignments, College Students, Feedback (Response), College Science, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A