The Rashi inquiry learning environment for human biology was evaluated using a new instrument for assessing gains in scientific inquiry skills. The instrument was designed to be sensitive to the small pre-post skill gains that are hypothesized for short learning interventions. It is also designed to be scored with less effort than the verbal protocol analysis methods most often used to asses higher order skills. To achieve these ends the instrument is “item-based”, “recognition-based” and “difference-based.” We describe our assessment design method and results of its first use.
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