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Journal of Research in Science Teaching
written by Steven T. Kalinowski and Shannon Willoughby
This article presents the Formal Reasoning Test (FORT), a multiple-choice test designed by researchers at Montana State University to assess college students' scientific reasoning ability. The test defines scientific reasoning to be equivalent to formal operational reasoning. It contains 20 questions divided evenly among five types of problems: control of variables, hypothesis testing, correlational reasoning, proportional reasoning, and probability. The test development process included the drafting and psychometric analysis of 23 instruments related to formal operational reasoning. These instruments were administered to almost 10,000 students enrolled in introductory science courses at American universities. Questions with high discrimination were identified and assembled into an instrument that was intended to measure the reasoning ability of students across the entire spectrum of abilities in college science courses. The article also designates four types of validity evidence supporting the FORT: (a) The test has a one-dimensional psychometric structure consistent with its design. (b) Test scores in an introductory biology course had an empirical reliability of 0.82. (c) Student interviews confirmed responses to the FORT were accurate indications of student thinking. (d) A regression analysis of student learning in an introductory biology course showed that scores on the FORT predicted how well students learned one of the most challenging concepts in biology, natural selection.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching: Volume 56, Issue 9, Pages 1269-1284
Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
General Physics
- General
- Physics Education Research
- Scientific Reasoning
- Assessment Material
= Test
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Administrators
- Researchers
- application/pdf
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© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
DOI:
10.1002/tea.21555
NSF Numbers:
DUE
1432577
Keywords:
formal operations, physics preparedness, reasoning skills, scientific reasoning skills, skills assessment, skills inventory
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created January 27, 2021 by Adrian Madsen
Record Updated:
December 14, 2021 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 9, 2019
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Record Link
AIP Format
S. Kalinowski and S. Willoughby, , J. Res. Sci. Teaching 56 (9), 1269 (2019), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21555).
AJP/PRST-PER
S. Kalinowski and S. Willoughby, Development and validation of a scientific (formal) reasoning test for college students, J. Res. Sci. Teaching 56 (9), 1269 (2019), <https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21555>.
APA Format
Kalinowski, S., & Willoughby, S. (2019, April 9). Development and validation of a scientific (formal) reasoning test for college students. J. Res. Sci. Teaching, 56(9), 1269-1284. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21555
Chicago Format
Kalinowski, Steven T., and Shannon Willoughby. "Development and validation of a scientific (formal) reasoning test for college students." J. Res. Sci. Teaching. 56, no. 9, (April 9, 2019): 1269-1284, https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21555 (accessed 30 November 2022).
MLA Format
Kalinowski, Steven T., and Shannon Willoughby. "Development and validation of a scientific (formal) reasoning test for college students." J. Res. Sci. Teaching 56.9 (2019): 1269-1284. 30 Nov. 2022 <https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21555>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Steven T. Kalinowski and Shannon Willoughby", Title = {Development and validation of a scientific (formal) reasoning test for college students}, Journal = {J. Res. Sci. Teaching}, Volume = {56}, Number = {9}, Pages = {1269-1284}, Month = {April}, Year = {2019} }
Refer Export Format

%A Steven T. Kalinowski %A Shannon Willoughby %T Development and validation of a scientific (formal) reasoning test for college students %J J. Res. Sci. Teaching %V 56 %N 9 %D April 9, 2019 %P 1269-1284 %U https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21555 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Kalinowski, Steven T. %A Willoughby, Shannon %D April 9, 2019 %T Development and validation of a scientific (formal) reasoning test for college students %J J. Res. Sci. Teaching %V 56 %N 9 %P 1269-1284 %8 April 9, 2019 %U https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21555


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