Jason Cryan, Ph.D. Laboratory for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics. Evolution Tests:. Teaching Tools and Evaluations of Learning. What are quizzes, tests, & exams for, anyway!?. Tests help evaluate student learning.
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Jason Cryan, Ph.D.
Laboratory for Conservation
and Evolutionary Genetics
Evaluations of Learning
What are quizzes, tests,
& exams for, anyway!?
2.Tests help evaluate how successfully you are presenting the material
3.Tests, if well-designed, can motivate students
4.Tests can reinforce learning by providing students with indicators of what topics or skills they have not yet mastered and should concentrate on
Testing only Memorization?
Diagram, Differentiate, Distinguish, Illustrate, Infer, Point out, Relate, Select, Separate, Subdivide, Categorize, Combine, Compile, Devise, Design, Explain, Generate, Organize, Plan, Rearrange, Reconstruct, Revise, Tell, Appraise, Compare, Conclude, Contrast, Criticize, Describe, Discriminate, Explain, Justify, Interpret, Support
Alternative Testing Methods
1. The Pre-Test that “Doesn’t Count”
Secret Codes: An “Interesting” Social Experiment…
I Hate True False
007 (multiple of you)
North American Hairless Teacher
T F 1. Mammals and Dinosaurs existed together
T F 2. Humans and Dinosaurs existed together
T F 3. The appendix is often considered a ‘vestigial’ structure
T F 4. Some regions of DNA are considered vestigial
T F 5. The Earth is ~4.6 billion years old
T F 6. Natural Selection is a force that acts on species
T F 7. Natural Selection is a force that acts on populations
T F 8. Natural Selection is a force that acts on individuals
T F 9. Charles Darwin was the first person to propose the idea of Evolution
T F 10. Charles Darwin was the only person to propose the idea of Natural Selection
T F 11. Evolution is a slow process
T F 12. Evolution is a theory
T F 13. Natural Selection is the only process by which organisms evolve
T F 14. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny
T F 15. Small genetic changes can result in large anatomical or physiological changes
16. All the organisms shown here belong to the Phylum Chordata.
The structural similarity in the organisms suggests that--
17. What is the best ‘evolutionary’ definition of the term “adapt”?
18. Given your answer to question #12, above, do organisms try to adapt to their environment?
19. Is evolution a historical process?
20. The goal of evolution is perfection in organismal form and function.
2. Using Humor in Evolution Education
A. Cartoons: a fantastic resource for both classroom discussions and test questions
B. Silliness: funny words/phrases can grab attention, stimulate students
Question: Briefly (but with detail) explain why, although funny, the cartoon shown is not scientifically accurate.
Question: You are a graduate student studying the evolution of the Teal-Winged Insectivorous Toucan (better known as the “TWIT”). The goal of your thesis is to use an Amazonian population of this charismatic bird to demonstrate the four basic principals of evolution by natural selection. So, you venture out into the rainforest for a few years to observe TWITs in their natural habitat. During your TWIT fieldwork, you record the following TWIT data…….
Answer: Evolutionary adaptation does not occur based on need. Variation must exist in the population for phenotypes that become advantageous with a change in the environment.
No-eared Rat-Dog: the NERD
Darwin’s Insectivorous, Nocturnal Kangaroo: the DINK
Darwin’s Orange Reticulated Kookaburra: the DORK
But, Use Good Judgment….
Tree of Life
Phylogeny vs. Genealogy
Common Ancestry (mammals, dinos/birds)
“Survival of the Fittest” vs. Fitness
Am I a Neanderthal?
(from Weller, 1985)
Good Question! As you know, Neanderthal man may have interbred with modern man. His descendants are with us even today, passing for full-blooded Homo sapiens. If you suspect a “touch of the old hand ax” in your ancestry, score yourself on this test:
0-20 points: You are a virtually pure Homo sapiens. Feel free to build bridges, compose symphonies, and overrun the world.
20-40 points: A slight Neanderthal strain means that you will occasionally have spells of primitive behavior, crawling around on all fours and whooping wildly. If you live in California, no one will notice.
40-60 points: You can still function quite well in the modern world, but avoid eating in any fancy restaurants lest your table manners give you away.
60-80 points: Your Pleistocene heritage is predominant. You should consider a career in pro football.
80-100 points: Unfortunately, your genetic makeup is Grunt City; there is no place for you in human society. Try running for public office instead.