Discipline-Based Education Research Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Presented to UNL Discipline-Based Education Research Group, 2012.


Copyright 2012, Leilani Arthurs.


Concept inventories are relatively new types of diagnostic instruments intended to measure student learning. Concept inventories exist for astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, fluid mechanics, geology, and physics. None is yet available for oceanography, and development of the Introductory Oceanography Concept Inventory Survey (IO‐CIS) serves to fill this gap. A context‐driven development strategy was designed to create this instrument. Qualitative methods utilizing grounded theory and classical test theory were used to construct it. Quantitative methods, including statistical methods associated with classical test theory and item response theory, were used to evaluate and further refine the IO‐CIS. The instrument is valid and reliable for the population for which it was designed, a large west‐central introductory oceanography course, and has potential to be used with and expanded upon for broader populations.