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Flores, F. (2003). Representation of the cell and its processes in high school students:  an integrated view. International Journal of Science Education 25, 269-286.

     Questionnaires and interviews were given to Mexican high school students in order to determine their knowledge of cells and conceptual problems.  Misconceptions identified in the study that are related to my project are:  Animal cells are generally round, structures like bone, cartilage, or hair are not made up by cells, and the size of the cell is like that of molecules and atoms.


Kitchen, E., Bell, J.D., Reeve, S., Sudweeks, R.R., and Bradshaw, W.S. (2003). Teaching cell biology in the large-enrollment classroom: methods to promote analytical thinking and assessment of their effectiveness. Cell Biol Educ 2, 180-194.

     The authors describe a strategy to help students learn how to interpret experimental data.  One of the methods used is asking studetns to draw diagrams to illustrate concepts. Student performance on data analysis exam questions was used to measure performance.  The authors found improvement in the student’s ability to answer analysis questions, but the use of drawing versus other class strategies such as practic problems and group learning was not addressed.


Leopold, C. and Leutner, D. (2012).  Science text comprehension:  Drawing, main idea selection, and summarizing as learning strategies.  Learning and Instruction, 22, 16-26.

     The authors test the hypothesis that students who draw a model learn the text better than those given no instruction or text focused strategy.  Students took a pretest, then were give a passage of text to read either with no instructions, instuctions to write main points of text, to draw main points of text, or both.  Post test and questionnaires were used to guage results, and a positive effect of the drawing activity on text comprehension was found.  This study suggests that producing a cell model may help students learn main points better than reading the textbook.


Nyachwaya, J.M., Mohamed, A., Roehrig, G.H., Wood, N.B., Kern, A.L., and Schneider, J.L. (2011).  The development of an open-ended drawing tool:  an alternative diagnostic tool for assessing student's understanding of the particulate nature of matter.  Chemistry Education Research and Practice 12, 121-132.

     This study suggests that multiple-choice assessments such as the Chemistry Concept Inventory do not assess the depth of understanding or reveal all student misconceptions.  During a first-semester freshman general chemistry course, students were given open-ended drawing response questions.  The authors found that students were able to balance chemical equations, but unable to draw appropriate particulate representations, revealing problems distinguishing between ionic and convalent bonds and molecular geometry.  This study describes a qualitative assessement tool, which is similar to the assignment that I would like to investigate.


Tanner, K., and Allen, D. (2004). Approaches to biology teaching and learning: learning styles and the problem of instructional selection--engaging all students in science courses. Cell Biol Educ 3, 197-201.

     This paper reviews different theories of learning styles: Visual, Aural, and Kinesthetic (VAK), Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, and Felder and Silverman’s dimensions of learning styles in science.  The authors then discuss how these theories can be applied in the classroom.  One justification for my cell model assignment is that unlike exams or homework problem
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