Concept Inventory Development Reveals Common Student Misconceptions about Microbiology

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This article identifies misconceptions in microbiology held by undergraduate students upon entry into an introductory, general microbiology course.

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9 p.

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Briggs, Amy G.; Hughes, Lee E.; Brennan, R. E.; Buchner, John; Horak, Rachel E. A.; Katz-Amburn, D. Sue et al. October 30, 2017.

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UNT College of Arts and Sciences

The UNT College of Arts and Sciences educates students in traditional liberal arts, performing arts, sciences, professional, and technical academic programs. In addition to its departments, the college includes academic centers, institutes, programs, and offices providing diverse courses of study.

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Description

This article identifies misconceptions in microbiology held by undergraduate students upon entry into an introductory, general microbiology course.

Physical Description

9 p.

Notes

Abstract: Misconceptions, or alternative conceptions, are incorrect understandings that students have incorporated
into their prior knowledge. The goal of this study was the identification of misconceptions in microbiology
held by undergraduate students upon entry into an introductory, general microbiology course. This
work was the first step in developing a microbiology concept inventory based on the American Society
for Microbiology’s Recommended Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Microbiology. Responses to
true/false (T/F) questions accompanied by written explanations by undergraduate students at a diverse
set of institutions were used to reveal misconceptions for fundamental microbiology concepts. These data
were analyzed to identify the most difficult core concepts, misalignment between explanations and answer
choices, and the most common misconceptions for each core concept. From across the core concepts,
nineteen misconception themes found in at least 5% of the coded answers for a given question were identified.
The top five misconceptions, with coded responses ranging from 19% to 43% of the explanations,
are described, along with suggested classroom interventions. Identification of student misconceptions in
microbiology provides a foundation upon which to understand students’ prior knowledge and to design
appropriate tools for improving instruction in microbiology.

Source

  • Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 2017. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology

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Publication Information

  • Publication Title: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
  • Volume: 18
  • Issue: 3
  • Page Start: 1
  • Page End: 10
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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UNT Scholarly Works

Materials from the UNT community's research, creative, and scholarly activities and UNT's Open Access Repository. Access to some items in this collection may be restricted.

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Creation Date

  • October 30, 2017

Submitted Date

  • March 10, 2017

Accepted Date

  • June 13, 2017

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • March 15, 2019, 11:51 a.m.

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Briggs, Amy G.; Hughes, Lee E.; Brennan, R. E.; Buchner, John; Horak, Rachel E. A.; Katz-Amburn, D. Sue et al. Concept Inventory Development Reveals Common Student Misconceptions about Microbiology, article, October 30, 2017; Washington, DC. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1459145/: accessed March 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.