Introduction

AAAS Project 2061 is recruiting high school science teachers to help us interview students using online video communication software in the summer and fall of 2015. The topic for these interviews will be evolution and common ancestry.

Background:
This summer and fall, AAAS Project 2061 will be conducting cognitive interviews with high school students to learn what they know about evolution and common ancestry. This will help us develop NGSS-aligned assessment items that effectively measure student understanding of these topics. In order to gain a broad picture of what students know and how they think, we plan to interview students across the country using online video communication software such as Skype. Would you be interested in helping us?

About the interviews:
In each 30-60 minute interview, your student will be asked to “think aloud” as they orally answer questions from a researcher over video communication software. The questions will be about evolution topics typically covered in high school biology courses. We will audio record the interviews, but students will remain anonymous throughout. Permission from students, parents, and your principal will be required to participate.

It would be helpful if your students are currently receiving (or have previously received) high school-level biology instruction. However, our goal is to interview students with a wide range of understandings of these topics, so a background in biology is not essential.

These interviews are not intended to evaluate students or their teachers. Individual student and teacher data will remain strictly confidential and individual students will not be identifiable.

In order for your students to participate in the interviews:
  • You must be a science teacher in the United States.
  • Your students must be in the 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade.
  • You must have access to computers or tablets with web cameras at school.
  • You must be able to obtain permission to participate from the appropriate school or district personnel.
  • You must be able to obtain permission from participating students and their parents. (We will provide forms.)
Participation in this study is limited, so we will adjust our selections to achieve representation from urban, rural, and suburban schools; from different parts of the country; and from different biology backgrounds. Teachers who are selected to participate will be notified by email.

As a thank-you, each participating teacher will receive a $25 Amazon.com card.

If you have any questions about the study, please contact us at bkoch@aaas.org or at 202-326-7020.

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