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Paper: Investigating Undergraduate Students' Science Literacy: Responses Related to Radiation and DNA
Volume: 500, Celebrating Science: Putting Education Best Practices to Work
Page: 199
Authors: Impey, C.; Buxner, S.; Nieberding, M.; Romine, J.
Abstract: This study is part of a larger one investigating undergraduate students' science literacy. Over the past 25 years we have been investigating undergraduate students' basic science knowledge as well as beliefs and attitudes towards science and technology. Data has been collected from almost 12,000 students, mostly freshman and sophomore students and mostly non-STEM majors. This paper presents findings of two open ended questions that probe students' understanding of radiation and DNA. Each open ended question was coded using a scheme developed from existing literature and emergent themes. Analyses revealed that STEM students are better able to correctly describe radiation and had fewer misconceptions. Many students mentioned chemical characteristics and functions of DNA although a substantial number of students reported common misconceptions or trivial responses. Our results add to our existing work to help us understand how to better support students' learning in our undergraduate courses.
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