McFarland et al 2014

(The FASEB Journal.2014;28:531.13)

Conceptual assessment of physiology: development of a concept inventory for homeostasis

Jenny McFarland2, Joel Michael5, Mary Pat Wenderoth6, Harold Modell4, Ann Wright1 and William Cliff3
1Canisius College Buffalo NY United States
2Edmonds Community College Lynnwood WA United States
3Niagara University Niagara University NY United States
4Physiology Educational Research Consortium Seattle WA United States
5Rush Medical College Chicago IL United States
6University of Washington Seattle WA United States

Homeostasis is an important core principle for undergraduate physiology students to understand and apply. Assessment of student conceptual understanding of homeostasis is important for teaching and learning, especially formative assessment to reveal students’ incomplete understanding and ‘misconceptions’. We engaged in a 3-step process to develop a Conceptual Assessment of Physiology (CAP) instrument for homeostasis. First, a conceptual framework for homeostasis that identifies component ideas appropriate for undergraduate physiology was developed and validated by a cohort of faculty at 2- & 4-year colleges, universities & medical schools. Second, common student conceptions regarding homeostasis and its component ideas were identified (from physiology students and faculty). Third, multiple-choice questions to assess important homeostasis component ideas were developed and tested in student interviews. These questions were then vetted by a cohort of faculty from diverse institutions and students in physiology courses. We will present the CAP questions on homeostasis, the physiology faculty data on the appropriateness of these questions for undergraduate students, and the results of initial testing with students. The questions will be linked to the conceptual framework and student conceptions & incomplete understandings. Supported by NSF DUE-1043443.

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