Using student writing and lexical analysis to reveal student thinking about the role of stop codons in the central dogma

TitleUsing student writing and lexical analysis to reveal student thinking about the role of stop codons in the central dogma
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPrevost, LB, Smith, MK, Knight, JK
JournalCBE - Life Sciences Education
Volume15
Issue4
Paginationpii: ar65
Date Published12/2016
KeywordsAACR, genetics, genetics education, Lexical analysis
AbstractPrevious work has shown that students have persistent difficulties in understanding how central dogma processes can be affected by a stop codon mutation. To explore these difficulties, we modified two multiple-choice questions from the Genetics Concept Assessment into three open-ended questions that asked students to write about how a stop codon mutation potentially impacts replication, transcription, and translation. We then used computer-assisted lexical analysis combined with human scoring to categorize student responses. The lexical analysis models showed high agreement with human scoring, demonstrating that this approach can be successfully used to analyze large numbers of student written responses. The results of this analysis show that students’ ideas about one process in the central dogma can affect their thinking about subsequent and previous processes, leading to mixed models of conceptual understanding.
URLhttp://www.lifescied.org/content/15/4/ar65.abstract?sid=b7f5bcb5-71ec-42c9-b198-e3c88fc5e13d
DOI10.1187/cbe.15-12-0267

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (DUE grants: 1438739, 1323162, 1347740, 0736952 and 1022653). Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.