Experimental Design (First Year Undergraduate Level)


It has long been known that students often struggle to comprehend basic concepts that must be applied to design non-biased, effective experiments when posing research questions. Whichever career path biology graduates choose, a good understanding of the principles behind effective experimental design can lead to better informed choices (after all, virtually all political, social, medical and economic decisions are made based on the analysis of data that arises from the completion of experiments).

Development Timeframe

This concept inventory has been through two comprehensive rounds of undergraduate student validation, as well as a primary feedback focus group with experts (instructors and graduate students). It has been piloted as a pre/post test in one first year biology class (January – April 2012). Upon the completion of data analysis following this pilot, final adjustments were made and a secondary expert validation was carried out. This inventory is now ready for use.

Number Of Questions

This inventory features 18 multiple choice questions, focusing on concepts ranging from the application of randomization procedures to effective replication and the need for limiting extraneous variables in experiments.


Thomas Deane and Kathy Nomme have worked together in completing this inventory.

Download the Experimental Design (First Year Undergraduate Level) CI Package

You can download the files that make up the complete Experimental Design (First Year Undergraduate Level) CI Package by clicking here.

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