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Using the Conceptual Inventory in Natural Selection

Using the Conceptual Inventory in Natural Selection

Hosted by: American Institute of Biological Sciences, University of California Museum of Paleontology, National Association of Biology Teachers, and the Introductory Biology Project

Presented by: Dianne Anderson

Event took place on Friday, May 14, 2010

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Duration: 60 minutes


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This webinar is the fifth in a series of webinars offered by AIBS, NABT, UCMP, and IBP to support the community of educators teaching introductory biology. Each webinar in the series will offer information about a great teaching resource or pedagogical technique and provide the opportunity to interact with resource providers and your colleagues about successful teaching strategies.

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Webinar Description

The Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS) was published in 2002 as a research-based diagnostic test for easily assessing the understanding of large numbers of students in high school and college biology classes. The CINS is composed of 20 multiple-choice questions that address 10 key concepts related to natural selection, variation, and speciation. Distractors for each question are based on the wealth of alternative conception research done over the past 2 decades on the topic of natural selection. Research done with college students has demonstrated that there is a significant correlation between a particular student's test score and interview score, so teachers and professors can be confident that data collected using the CINS are useful for informing instructional decisions and measuring student progress. This webinar will provide an opportunity for participants to "try out" some of the questions, and to discuss ways to use the CINS and other diagnostic instruments as in-class activities. In addition, participants will be introduced to biology concept cartoons based on some of the CINS questions. These cartoons make excellent tools to promote classroom discussion.


About the presenter

Dianne Anderson

Dianne Anderson

Dianne Anderson is a professor of biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA where she teaches botany, research design, and non-majors' biology courses. She is also the program director for PLNU's master's degree in general biology designed for working teachers: http://www.pointloma.edu/Biology/Biology_Graduate_Program.htm. She earned her M.S in microbiology at San Diego State University and her Ph.D. in Math and Science Education at University of California, San Diego. Part of her dissertation work was the development and field testing of the Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection, and she continues (with the help of graduate students) to conduct research on the development and use of conceptual inventories and biology concept cartoons.


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