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7B: Evaluative Assessment Resources

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    Initially compiled by Kathy S. Williams (San Diego State University) and Erilynn T. Heinrichsen (University of California, San Diego)

    Updated 2019 by Jenny Knight


    Flowering Plant Growth and Development (13 two-tiered MC items)

    Lin SW. 2004. Development and application of a two-tier diagnostic test for high school students’ understanding of flowering plant growth and development. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 2: 175–199.


    Threshold concepts in Biochemistry: Loertscher, J. (2011). Biochemistry and molecular biology education, 39(1), 56-57.


    Breathing and Respiration (12 two-tiered MC items)

    Mann M, Treagust DF. 1998. A pencil and paper instrument to diagnose students’ conceptions of breathing, gas exchange and respiration. Australian Science Teachers Journal 44: 55–59.


    Developmental Biology Content Survey (15 MC items)

    Knight JK, Wood WB. 2005. Teaching more by lecturing less. Cell Biology Education 4: 298-310. doi:10.1187/05-06-0082.


    (total of 16 Diagnostic Question Clusters of 6-8 items each; some items appear in more than one DQC)

    Diagnostic Question Clusters on Energy and Matter (DQCs)

    Wilson CD, Anderson CW, Heidemann M, Merrill JE, Merritt BW, Richmond G, Silbey DF, Parker JM. 2006. Assessing students’ ability to trace matter in dynamic systems in cell biology. CBE Life Sciences Education 5: 323–331.

    Hartley LM, Wilke BJ, Schramm JW, D’Avanzo C, Anderson CW. 2011. College students’ understanding of the carbon cycle: contrasting principle-based and informal reasoning. BioScience 61: 65-75.

    Thinking like a biologist: Using diagnostic questions to help students to reason with biological principles (16 DQC sets of ~7 items each, MC, TF, open-ended)

    D'Avanzo C, Anderson CW, Griffith A, Merrill J. 2011. Thinking like a biologist. Using diagnostic questions to help students reason with biological principles. [The site at has Diagnostic Question Clusters (DQC's) organized by three ecological topics (Carbon Cycling, Energy Flow in Ecosystems, Climate Change), and by three biological processes; (Photosynthesis, Biosynthesis, Cellular Respiration) - with two DQCs each; plus one each DQC under topics Gasoline, Biofuels, Carbon in Nature, and Carbon Balance. Some items appear in more than one DQC.


    EcoEvo-MAPS: An Ecology and Evolution Assessment for Introductory through Advanced Undergraduates

    EvoDevoCI (MC and open ended items for 3 Exploratory Surveys and 6 Interview Question sets)

    Hiatt A, Davis GK, Trujillo C, Terry M, French DP, Price RM, Perez KE. 2013. Getting to Evo-Devo: Concepts and challenges for students learning evolutionary developmental biology. CBE Life Sciences Education 12: 494-508. doi:10.1187/cbe.12-11- 0203.

    EvoDevoCI (11 MC items, 4 scenarios)

    Perez KE et al 2013. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept inventory for gauging students’ understanding of evolutionary developmental biology. CBE Life Sciences Education 12: 665-675. doi:10.1187/cbe.13-04-0079.

    Basic Tree Thinking Assessment (two tests, 10 MC items each, diagrams): Baum DA, Smith SD, Donovan SSS. 2005. The tree-thinking challenge. Science 310: 979-980.

    Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS) (20 MC items, scenarios)

    Anderson DL, Fisher KM, Norman JG. 2002. Development and validation of the conceptual inventory of natural selection. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 39: 952-978.

    Kalinowski, S. T., Leonard, M. J., & Taper, M. L. (2016). Development and validation of the conceptual assessment of natural selection (CANS). CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(4), ar64.


    Dasgupta, A. P., Anderson, T. R., & Pelaez, N. J. (2016). Development of the neuron assessment for measuring biology students’ use of experimental design concepts and representations. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(2), ar10.

    Deane, T., Nomme, K., Jeffery, E., Pollock, C., & Birol, G. (2014). Development of the biological experimental design concept inventory (BEDCI). CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13(3), 540-551.


    Genetics Literacy Assessment Instrument (GLAI) (31 MC items) FOUR in Bowling et al. Genetics 2008;

    Bowling BV, Acra EE, Wang L, Myers MF, Dean GE, Markle GC, Moskalik CL, Huether CA. 2008. Development and evaluation of a genetics literacy assessment instrument for undergraduates. Genetics 178: 15-22. [download PDF] from

    Genetics Concept Assessment (GCA) (25 MC items, diagrams)

    Smith MK, Wood WB, Knight JK. 2008. The genetics concept assessment: A new concept inventory for gauging student understanding of genetics CBE Life Science Education 7: 422-430.

    Genetics Diagnostic (13 two-tiered MC items, diagrams)

    Tsui CY, Treagust D. 2009. Evaluating secondary students’ scientific reasoning in genetics using a two-tier diagnostic instrument. International Journal of Science Education 32: 1073-1098.

    Genetic Drift Inventory (GeDI) (22 agree–disagree items)

    Price RM, Andrews TC, McElhinny TL, Mead LS, Abraham JK, Thanukos A, Perez KE. 2014. The Genetic Drift Inventory: A tool for measuring what advanced undergraduates have mastered about genetic drift. CBE Life Science Education 13: 65-75. doi:


    Dominance Concept Inventory: Abraham, J. K., Perez, K. E., & Price, R. M. (2014). The Dominance Concept Inventory: a tool for assessing undergraduate student alternative conceptions about dominance in Mendelian and population genetics. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13(2), 349-358.


    Gen-MAPS: Couch, BA, Wright CD, Freeman S, Knight JK, Semsar K, Smith MK, Summers MM, Zheng Y, Crowe AJ, Brownell SE (2019). GenBio-MAPS: A programmatic assessment to measure student understanding of Vision and Change core concepts across general biology programs. CBE Life Sci. Educ. 18:arx 1–14, doi: 10.1187/cbe.18-07-0117


    Host-Pathogen Interactions (HPI) (17 [18 noted in Marbach-Ad et al. 2009] two-tiered MC items) ITEMS NOT PROVIDED

    Marbach-Ad G, Briken V, El-Sayed NM, Frauwirth K, Fredericksen B, Hutcheson S, Gao L-Y, Joseph SW, Lee V, McIver KS, Mosser D, Quimby BB, Shields P, Song W, Stein DC, Yuan RT, Smith AC. 2009. Assessing student understanding of host pathogen interactions using a concept inventory. Journal of Microbiology Education 10: 43-50.

    Marbach-Ad G, McAdams KC, Benson S, Briken V, Cathcart L, Chase M, El-Sayed NM, Frauwirth K, Fredericksen B, Joseph SW, Lee V, McIver KS, Mosser D, Quimby BB, Shields P, Song W, Stein DC, Stewart R, Thompson KV, Smith AC. 2010. A model for using a concept inventory as a tool for students' assessment and faculty professional development. CBE Life Science Education 9: 408-416.


    Biology Concept Inventory (BCI) (30 MC items) ON-LINE at

    Klymkowsky MW, Garvin-Doxas K, Zeilik M. 2003. Bioliteracy and teaching efficacy: What biologists can learn from physicists. Cell Biology Education 2: 155-161. doi: 10.1187/cbe.03-03-0014.

    Garvin-Doxas K, Doxas I, Klymkowsky MW. 2008. Ed's Tools: A web-based software toolset for accelerated concept inventory construction. pp 130-140. In: Deeds, D & B Callen, editors; Proceedings of the National STEM Assessment Conference.


    Measure of Understanding of Macroevolution (MUM) (28 items: 27 MC items, plus one open-ended item, diagrams) PROVIDED

    Nadelson LS, Southerland SA. 2010. Development and preliminary evaluation of the Measure of Understanding of Macroevolution: Introducing the MUM. The Journal of Experimental Education 78: 151–190. [download PDF] from


    Development, Validation, and Application of the Microbiology Concept Inventory.Timothy D. Paustian, Amy G. Briggs, Robert E. Brennan, Nancy Boury, John Buchner, Shannon Harris, Rachel E. A. Horak, Lee E. Hughes, D. Sue Katz-Amburn, Maria J. Massimelli, Ann H. McDonald, Todd P. Primm, Ann C. Smith, Ann M. Stevens, Sunny B. Yung. (2017) J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. 18(3): doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i3.1320

    Development and Validation of the Microbiology for Health Sciences Concept Inventory. Heather M. Seitz, Rachel E. A. Horak, Megan W. Howard, Lucy W. Kluckhohn Jones, Theodore Muth, Christopher Parker, Andrea Pratt Rediske, Maureen M. Whitehurst. (2017) J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. 18(3): doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i3.1322


    Central Dogma: Newman, D. L., Snyder, C. W., Fisk, J. N., & Wright, L. K. (2016). Development of the central dogma concept inventory (CDCI) assessment tool. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(2), ar9.

    Lac Operon: Stefanski, K. M., Gardner, G. E., & Seipelt-Thiemann, R. L. (2016). Development of a Lac Operon Concept Inventory (LOCI). CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(2), ar24.

    Introductory Molecular Biology: Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) (24 MC items, diagrams) Shi J, Wood WB, Martin JM, Guild NA, Vicens Q, Knight JK. 2010. A diagnostic assessment for introductory molecular and cell biology. CBE Life Sciences Education 9: 453-461. doi: 10.1187/cbe.10-04-0055.

    Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: Couch, B. A., Wood, W. B., & Knight, J. K. (2015). The Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: a concept assessment for upper-division molecular biology students. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 14(1), ar10.

    Molecular Life Sciences Concept Inventory (MLS)


    Diffusion and Osmosis Diagnostic Test (DODT) (12 two-tiered MC items, diagrams)

    Odom AL, Barrow LH. 1995. The development and application of a two-tiered diagnostic test measuring college biology students' understanding of diffusion and osmosis following a course of instruction. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 32: 45-61. [HTML] from

    Odom AL. 1995. Secondary and college biology students' misconceptions about diffusion and osmosis. American Biology Teacher 57: 409–415. [download PDF] from

    Osmosis and diffusion conceptual assessment (ODCA) (8 two-tiered MC items, diagrams) Fisher KM, Williams KS, Lineback J. 2011. Osmosis and diffusion conceptual assessment. CBE Life Sciences Education 10:418-29.


    Photosynthesis and Respiration (13 two-tiered MC items, plus open ended)

    Haslam F, Treagust DF. 1987. Diagnosing secondary students’ misconceptions of photosynthesis and respiration in plants using a two-tier multiple choice instrument. Journal of Biological Education 21: 203–211.

    Covalent Bonding and Photosynthesis test development ITEMS NOT PROVIDED

    Treagust D. 1986. Evaluating students’ misconceptions by means of diagnostic multiple choice items. Journal of Research in Science Education 16: 199-207.


    Homeostasis: Development and Validation of the Homeostasis Concept Inventory McFarland, JL, Price RM, Wenderoth MP, Marinkova P, Cliff W, Michael J, Modell J, Wright A CBE—Life Sciences Education Volume 16, Issue 201 Jun 2017

    Phys-MAPS: Semsar K, Brownell SE, Couch BA, Crowe AJ, Smith MK, Summers MM, Wright CD, Knight JK (2018). Phys-MAPS: A programmatic physiology assessment for introductory and advanced undergraduates. Adv Physiol Educ 43: 15–27, 2019; doi:10.1152/advan.00128.2018.


    Stanhope, L., Ziegler, L., Haque, T., Le, L., Vinces, M., Davis, G. K., ... & Umbanhowar, C. (2017). Development of a Biological Science Quantitative Reasoning Exam (BioSQuaRE). CBE-Life Sciences Education, 16(4), ar66.

    Deane, T., Nomme, K., Jeffery, E., Pollock, C., & Birol, G. (2016). Development of the Statistical Reasoning in Biology Concept Inventory (SRBCI). CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(1), ar5.


    Gormally, C., Brickman, P., & Lutz, M. (2012). Developing a test of scientific literacy skills (TOSLS): Measuring undergraduates’ evaluation of scientific information and arguments. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 11(4), 364-377.


    Internal Transport in Plants and the Human Circulatory Systems (28 two-tiered MC items) Wang JR. 2004. Development and validation of a two-tier instrument to examine understanding of internal transport in plants and the human circulatory system. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 2: 131–157.


    Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) Hufnagel 2002

    Lunar Phases Lindell and Olsen 2002

    Light and Spectroscopy, Bardar et al., 2007



    Virtual inorganic pedagogical electronic resource: a community for teachers and students of inorganic chemistry


    Compiled in list of chemistry concept inventories:

    DBER Resources - curated by Marilyne Stains -



    The AAPT ComPADRE Digital Library is a network of free online resource collections supporting faculty, students, and teachers in Physics and Astronomy Education.

    Other Resources:

    The Living Physics Portal-Due for Beta release Fall 2018

    The Living Physics Portal is an online environment for physics faculty to share and discuss free curricular resources for teaching introductory physics for life sciences (IPLS). The objective of the Portal is to improve the education of the next generation of medical professionals and biologists by making physics classes more relevant for life sciences students.


    The Advanced Laboratory Physics Association (ALPhA) was formed in 2007 to provide communication and interaction among the faculty and staff who are involved in advanced laboratory physics instruction at colleges and universities in the United States and the rest of the world.

    VII. Inventories for Assessing Students’ Perceptions About Biology (College-level)


    Wiggins, B. L., Eddy, S. L., Wener-Fligner, L., Freisem, K., Grunspan, D. Z., Theobald, E. J., ... & Crowe, A. J. (2017). ASPECT: A survey to assess student perspective of engagement in an active-learning classroom. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 16(2), ar32.

    Student Course Engagement Questionnaire

    (Handelsman et al. 2005)

    23 Likert items assessing perceived skills engagement, participation/interaction engagement, emotional engagement, and performance engagement


    Classroom Activities and Outcomes Survey (Terenzini et al. 2001)

    24 Likert items rating progress in learning skills related to engineering or general scientific inquiry.

    Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) et al. 2000)

    Multiple Likert items within 10 major categories rating gains in learning, skills, and attitudes due to components of a class

    Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) (Lopatto 2004) 20 Likert items assessing perceived learning gains as a result of participation in undergraduate research.

    Undergrad Research Student Self-Assessment (Hunter et al. 2007)

    Multiple Likert items assessing perceived gains in skills related to participation in research, yes/no questions categorizing specific experiences, and open response items.


    Achievement Goal Questionnaire

    (Elliot and Church 1997, Finney et al. 2004)

    18 Likert items rating performance approach and avoidance goals, and mastery goals.

    Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) (Pintrich Paul R. 1991, Pintrich P. R. et al. 1993)

    31 Likert items assessing students' goals and value beliefs. 31 assessing use of learning strategies and 19 items concerning student management of learning resources.

    Science Motivation Questionnaire (SMQ) ← not working


    (Glynn et al. 2011)

    30 Likert items comprising 6 components of motivation: intrinsic, extrinsic, relevance, responsibility, confidence, and anxiety.


    College Biology Self Efficacy

    (Baldwin et al. 1999)


    Biology Attitude Scale (Russell and Hollander 1975)

    22 items: 14 Likert-type and 8 semantic differential measuring students’ perceptions of liking or disliking biology

    Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS)- Biology

    (Semsar et al. 2011) 31 Likert-type items for measuring novice-to-expert-like perceptions including enjoyment of the discipline, connections to the real world and underlying knowledge and problem-solving strategies.

    Environmental Values Short Form (Zimmermann 1996)

    31 Likert items assessing level of agreement with statements describing concern for different environmental issues

    Survey of Teaching Beliefs and Practices for Undergraduates (STEP-U)

    Marbach-Ad, G., Rietschel, C., & Thompson, K. V. (2016). Validation and Application of the Survey of Teaching Beliefs and Practices for Undergraduates (STEP-U): Identifying Factors Associated with Valuing Important Workplace Skills among Biology Students. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(4), ar59.

    Views About Sciences Survey (VASS) (Halloun and Hestenes 1996)

    50 items: Students choose a value describing their position with regards to two alternate conclusions to a statement probing their views about knowing and learning science in three scientific and three cognitive dimensions.

    Views on Science and Education (VOSE)

    (Chen 2006)

    15 items for which several statements or claims are listed. Respondents choose their level of agreement to these series of predetermined statements/claims to provide reasoning behind their opinion.

    Views on Science-Technology-Society (VOSTS) (Aikenhead and Ryan 1992)

    7B: Evaluative Assessment Resources is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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