Research finds: If you ask vague questions, students might not give the answer you intended

February 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ars Technica headline: “College upperclassmen still fail at scientific reasoning”

From the study: “Questions… were sometimes ambiguously worded, allowing us not only to diagnose whether students had a correct or incorrect understanding of a carbon-related process but also to uncover their ways of reasoning about carbon-related processes.”

Sample question: “Once carbon enters a plant, it can be converted into energy for plant growth. True or false?”

my personal favourite xkcd

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