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ERIC Number: EJ910884
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
The Development of a Conceptual Framework and Tools to Assess Undergraduates' Principled Use of Models in Cellular Biology
Richmond, Gail; Merritt, Brett; Urban-Lurain, Mark; Parker, Joyce
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v9 n4 p441-452 Win 2010
Recent science education reform has been marked by a shift away from a focus on facts toward deep, rich, conceptual understanding. This requires assessment that also focuses on conceptual understanding rather than recall of facts. This study outlines our development of a new assessment framework and tool--a taxonomy--which, unlike existing frameworks and tools, is grounded firmly in a framework that considers the critical role that "models" play in science. It also provides instructors a resource for assessing students' ability to reason about models that are central to the organization of key scientific concepts. We describe preliminary data arising from the application of our tool to exam questions used by instructors of a large-enrollment cell and molecular biology course over a 5-yr period during which time our framework and the assessment tool were increasingly used. Students were increasingly able to describe and manipulate models of the processes and systems being studied in this course as measured by assessment items. However, their ability to apply these models in new contexts did not improve. Finally, we discuss the implications of our results and the future directions for our research. (contains 3 figures and 2 tables.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A