Concept inventories, constructed based on an analysis of students' thinking and their explanations of scientific situations, serve as diagnostics for identifying misconceptions and logical inconsistencies and provide data that can help direct curricular reforms. In the current project, we distributed the Biological Concepts Instrument (BCI) to 17-18-year-old students attending the highest track of the Swiss school system (Gymnasium). Students' performances on many questions related to evolution, genetics, molecular properties and functions were diverse. Important common misunderstandings were identified in the areas of evolutionary processes, molecular properties and an appreciation of stochastic processes in biological systems. Our observations provide further evidence that the BCI is efficient in identifying specific areas where targeted instruction is required. Based on these observations we have initiated changes at several levels to reconsider how biological systems are presented to university biology studies with the goal of improving student's foundational understanding.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Champagne Queloz, Annie; Klymkowsky, Michael W; Stern, Elsbeth; Hafen, Ernst; and Köhler, Katja, "Diagnostic of students' misconceptions using the Biological Concepts Instrument (BCI): A method for conducting an educational needs assessment." (2017). Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Faculty Contributions. 49.