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A Review of Students’ Common Misconceptions in Science and Their Diagnostic Assessment Tools


Abstract and Figures

A misconception is well-known as a barrier to students in learning science. Some topics in science learning are always giving misconception to novice students, and there have been various kinds of diagnostic assessment used by researchers to identify student misconceptions in science. This present study provides information about an overview of the common topics that students usually get misconception in science, and diagnostic assessment used to identify students’ misconception in science. This review also provides a comparison of every instrument with the weaknesses and the strengths reviewed from a total 111 articles that had published from the year 2015 to 2019 in the leading journal having the topic of students’ misconceptions in science. This study revealed that 33 physics, 12 chemistry, and 15 biology concepts in science that mainly caused misconceptions to students. Furthermore, it found that interview (10.74%), simple multiple-choice tests (32.23%) and multiple tier tests (33.06%), and open-ended tests (23.97%) are commonly used as diagnostic tests. However, every kind of tests has benefits and drawbacks over the other when it is used in assessing student conception. An expert user like teachers and researchers must be aware when using diagnostic assessment in the learning process, exceptionally to construct student conception. This study is expected to help researchers and teachers to decide the best instrument to be used in assessing student misconceptions and to examine the common science topics that caused misconceptions.
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JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
Jurnal Pendidikan IPA Indonesia
Soeharto*1, B. Csapó2, E. Sarimanah3, F. I. Dewi4, T. Sabri5
1,2 Doctoral School of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Szeged
3Indonesian Language and Literature Education, Pakuan University
4Indonesian Language and Literature Education, Kuningan University
5Basic Education, Tanjungpura University
DOI: 10.15294/jpii.v8i2.18649
Accepted: March 3rd, 2019. Approved: June 28th, 2019. Published: June 30th, 2019
A misconception is well-known as a barrier to students in learning science. Some topics in science learning are
always giving misconception to novice students, and there have been various kinds of diagnostic assessment used
by researchers to identify student misconceptions in science. This present study provides information about an
overview of the common topics that students usually get misconception in science, and diagnostic assessment
used to identify students’ misconception in science. This review also provides a comparison of every instrument
with the weaknesses and the strengths reviewed from a total 111 articles that had published from the year 2015
to 2019 in the leading journal having the topic of students’ misconceptions in science. This study revealed that
33 physics, 12 chemistry, and 15 biology concepts in science that mainly caused misconceptions to students. Fur-
thermore, it found that interview (10.74%), simple multiple-choice tests (32.23%) and multiple tier tests (33.06%),
and open-ended tests (23.97%) are commonly used as diagnostic tests. However, every kind of tests has benefits
and drawbacks over the other when it is used in assessing student conception. An expert user like teachers and
researchers must be aware when using diagnostic assessment in the learning process, exceptionally to construct
student conception. This study is expected to help researchers and teachers to decide the best instrument to be
used in assessing student misconceptions and to examine the common science topics that caused misconceptions.
© 2019 Science Education Study Program FMIPA UNNES Semarang
Keywords: diagnostic assessment, science, misconceptions
Students learn the concept of knowledge
about the world around them from an education
system at schools or informal way according to
their experiences, which are frequently used to
construct an insight with the student perspecti-
ves. Because of that matter, some researches had
been held to provide information about student
understanding, especially in learning science con-
cepts. The different insight of student concepts
had been defined by a number of terms like “al-
ternative conceptions” (Wandersee et al., 1994),
“conceptual difficulties” (Stefanidou et al., 2019),
“misconceptions “(Eshach et al., 2018), “mental
models” (Wuellner et al., 2017), and others.
Concepts are ideas forming objects or
abstraction, helping an individual to compre-
hend the scientific world phenomena (Eggen et
al., 2004). Misconceptions are delineated as ide-
as or insights from students who provide incor-
rect meaning constructed based on an event or
person experience (Martin et al., 2001). Science
misconceptions are individual knowledge gained
*Correspondence Address
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
from educational experience or informal events
that are irrelevant or not having the meaning ac-
cording to scientific concepts (Allen, 2014). In
summary, the misconception in science can be
described as student ideas from life experience or
informal education, which is not structured well
and resulting in the incorrect meaning according
to a scientific concept.
National Research Council (1997) stated
that the primary role of misconceptions in scien-
ce is a barrier for students to learn science becau-
se in many cases, misconceptions can detain stu-
dents to develop correct ideas used as the initial
insight for advanced learning. This is parallel with
King (2010) who unveiled that misinterpretations
found in the textbook of Earth Science influence
students’ understanding of a scientific text which
makes them difficult to comprehend further in-
formation or knowledge as a reader. Besides, te-
achers may also experience misconception in te-
aching either physics, chemistry, or biology topics
which leads, inevitably, in student misconcep-
tions (Bektas, 2017; Moodley & Gaigher, 2019).
In other words, misconception will interfere with
the quality and quantity of science learning pro-
cess and outcomes for both student and teacher.
A misconception is categorized into five ty-
pes namely preconceived notions, non-scientific
beliefs of conceptual misunderstandings, concep-
tual misunderstandings, vernacular misconcep-
tions, and factual misconceptions (Keeley, 2012;
Leaper et al., 2012; Morais, 2013; Murdoch,
2018). Preconceived notions are popular concep-
tions that come from life and personal experien-
ce (Murdoch, 2018), for example, many people
believe that to see an object, light must first hit
our eyes even though the opposite. Preconcei-
ved notions occur because students have not yet
learned the concept of light. Non-scientific be-
liefs are views or knowledge acquired by students
other than scientific sources (Leaper et al., 2012),
for example, some people believe that gender dif-
ferences determine the ability of students to learn
mathematics, science, and language so that men
become dominant compared to women. Concep-
tual misunderstandings are scientific information
that arises when students construct their own
confusing and wrong ideas based on the correct
scientific concepts (Morais, 2013), for example,
students find it challenging to understand the con-
cept of usual style because they only understand
that style is only a push and a pull. Vernacular
misconceptions are mistakes arising from the
use of words in everyday life that have different
meanings based on scientific knowledge (Keeley,
2012), for example, students have difficulties in
comprehending the concept of heat because they
do not understand that heat comes up due to the
rise of energy and not only because of fire. Fac-
tual misconceptions are misunderstandings that
occur at an early age and maintained until adult-
hood. For instance, children believe they will be
struck by lightning if they are outside the house.
These examples are easily found, and presumab-
ly, many more are there. Science misconceptions
are persistent, resistant to change, and deeply
rooted in some concepts. Therefore, it is urgent
to prevent or revise misconceptions as early as
possible. With this in mind, the researchers tried
to elucidate which science concepts that usually
lead to misconception so that either prevention
or correction could be performed; also, to reveal
what diagnostic assessment tools that are widely
used to identify misconceptions. By knowing the
distribution of common misconceptions and its
assessment tools, it is expected that teachers rai-
se their awareness of educating certain concepts
which usually causes misconception to improve
the quality of teaching and learning.
This study has three mains objective.
Firstly, to find topics frequently causing mis-
conceptions to students. Second, to analyze the
diagnostic instrument used to identify students’
misconception in science education. Diagnostic
instruments or tests are assessment tools con-
cerned to identify students’ misconception in
science. The tests are available on many forms
such as interview, multiple-choice question,
open-ended question, multi-tier question, and ot-
hers. Third, to unveil the benefits and drawbacks
of all diagnostic instruments used in the previous
studies. There are a lot of studies related to stu-
dents’ misconception on learning science. This
study roughly found around 2000 reviews related
to misconception published from 2015 to 2019
and broke down to analyze 111 studies.
Other than that, this study also offers some
contributions for the future research: (1) providing
an overview of the scientific topic in learning that
is naturally studied and provide misconceptions
to student; (2) giving summary for all diagnostic
instruments according to their benefits and draw-
backs in assessing misconception in science; and
(3) presenting quantitative data for which instru-
ment used to identify student misconception in
science education.
A systematic and structured literature re-
view was used to analyze, examine, and desc-
ribe the current empirical studies on students’
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
misconception in science education. To confirm
that process review was systematic, we employed
the Preferred Items for Systematic Reviews and
MetaAnalysis (PRISMA) statement (Moher et
al., 2009) having the following steps: (1) establis-
hing criteria for the subject and defining relevant
studies; (2) searching strategy; (3) searching and
screening to identify essential studies; (4) descri-
bing and examining selected papers; and (5) desc-
ribing, analyzing and synthesizing studies. Figure
1 shows the PRISMA steps in reviewing articles
about students’ science misconception.
During the searching process, the resear-
chers held investigations to some articles publis-
hed in scientific journals in the area of science
education and indexed by the trustworthy ins-
titution to get data of student misconceptions
and diagnostic instruments. To analyze the mat-
ching studies, the researchers conducted a speci-
fic search of some indexing institutions namely
ELSEVIER, SCOPUS, and WOS employing a
document analysis approach. Only studies pub-
lished in 2015 to 2019 were picked to get the latest
data. There were roughly 2000 related studies, yet
after reduction based on abstract and keyword
search, a total of 111 research articles were se-
Keywords and information of the 111 ar-
ticles such as (1) authors; (2) year of publication;
(3) type of publication; (4) field study; (5) science
concept; (6) view topic; (7) research instruments;
and (8) significant ndings were recorded. Then,
a descriptive statistic approach was adopted to
find the percentage of the instruments used in
current research. The next step was analyzing
the science concepts or misconceptions of every
article. The researchers also grouped the type of
diagnostic test used in the studies into interviews,
multiple-choice tests, multi-tier tests, and open-
ended tests. To be precise, the following is the
flow of the review steps.
Figure 1. Flow Diagram of the Review Process
The review process was carried out repea-
tedly and gradually. The articles were investigated
based on abstracts, methods, instruments, and re-
sults of misconception analysis. The main discus-
sion of diagnostic assessment in the papers was
used as data instruments to compare strengths
and weaknesses between each study. In conduc-
ting a literature review, researchers paid specific
interest to the type of multiple-choice instrument
and multi-tier test because of the frequent use of
these tests. However, it does not mean that other
instruments like open-ended questions and inter-
views are not used in various researches; they are
still adopted and have influences on the miscon-
ceptions in scientific analysis.
To measure and identify students’ miscon-
ception in several science concepts, various diag-
nostic tests have been developed and used. The
interview, open-ended question, multiple-choice
question, and multiple-tier test were found to be
the most frequently employed in science educa-
tion research. However, each test has its advan-
tages and disadvantages, as discussed in several
studies. The following is displayed the percenta-
ge of frequently used diagnostic tests based on
the selected papers.
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
Table 1. Proportions of Diagnostic Instrument
Used to Examine and Identify Science Miscon-
Table 1 shows the percentages of articles
reviewed in this study followed by other diagnos-
tic tools such as multiple-choice tests (32.23%)
and multiple-tier tests (33.06%), and open-ended
tests (23.97%). Based on 111 studies included in
this study, the most widely used diagnostic test
was multiple-tier tests (33.06%). Each test has
benefits and drawbacks over when used in asses-
sing student conceptions. Moreover, some stu-
dies are found to be using multi-diagnostic tests
(2.48%) which means that they do not adopt a
single instrument but two or three types of diag-
nostic methods to get a better result in research.
We found that the researchers usually add inter-
views as the second instrument to identify scien-
ce misconceptions.
The following table presents the topics
that usually lead to misconception among stu-
Diagnosis Method Percentages
Interviews 10.74%
Open-ended ques-
tions Test 23.97%
Multiple choices
Test 32.23%
Multiple-tier Test 33.06%
Two-tier 9.92%
tier 16.53%
Four-tier 4.13%
tier 2.48%
Total 100.00%
Table 2. Common Misconception Topics in Reviewed Articles
Physics Chemistry Biology
1. Photoelectric effect 1. Chemical bonding 1. Adaptations, habitat, biosphere, ecosystem,
food chain and food web, functions of an ecosys-
tem, biomass and biodiversity.”
2. Light 2. Electrolyte and Ion 2. Osmosis and diffusion
3. Impulse and momentums 3. Fire concept 3. Plant transport
4. Geometrical optics 4. Thermochemistry,
chemical kinetic
4. Antibiotic resistance
5. Dynamics rotation 5. Carbohydrates 5. Acid rain, global warming, greenhouse effect,
and ozone layer depletion
6. Simple current circuits 6. Enzyme interacts 6. Water cycle
7. Power 7. Electrochemistry 7. Photosynthesis
8. Radioactivity 8. The mole concept 8. Nature of science
9. Heat, temperature and
internal energy
9. Acid-base 9. Digestive system
10. Static electricity 10. Ionic and covalent
bonds concepts
10. Energy and climate change
11. Projectile motion 11. Acid-base and solubil-
ity equilibrium.
11. Evolution of biology
12. Geometrical optics 12. Redox titration 12. Human reproduction
13. Fluid static 13. The human and plant transport systems.
14. Electrostatic charging 14. Global warming
15. Net force, acceleration,
velocity, and inertia.
15. Ecological concepts
16. Lenses
17. Heat, Temperature and
Energy Concepts
18. Newton’s law
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
Some factors causing student misconcep-
tion in science are everyday life experiences, tex-
tbook, teacher, and language used. Nevertheless,
we noticed that the primary reason why the stu-
dents misinterpret science concepts is the charac-
teristic of the concepts themselves like abstract-
ness and complexity. Given an example of light
and optics concepts, some studies show that the
concepts are challenging for the students. As a
result, they tend to lead the students, even some
teachers, to misleading (Ling, 2017; Widiyatmo-
ko & Shimizu, 2018).
Based on the above table, the topics of
physics placed first to be the most misled by the
students with 33 concepts, followed by chemistry
with 12 concepts, and biology with 15 concepts
as shown in Table 2.
Among several methods in diagnosing
misconceptions, interviews have a significant
role because researchers may get detailed in-
formation about students’ cognitive knowledge
structures. Interviewing is one of the best and
most widely used techniques to find out the kno-
wledge and possible misconceptions a student
has (Fuchs & Czarnocha, 2016; Jankvist & Niss,
2018; Wandersee et al., 1994). Interviews can be
used to translate student responses or answers to
be analyzed and classified based on appropriate
scientific conceptions (Shin et al., 2016). Several
interview techniques have been used in previous
studies such as interview for remedial learning
(Kusairi et al., 2017), individual and group inter-
view (Fontana & Prokos, 2016), and interviews
as a complement test of multiple-tier question
(Linenberger & Bretz, 2015; Mutlu & Sesen,
2015; Murti & Aminah, 2019). This is supported
by Aas et al. (2018), who stated that an interview
has strength in developing ideas and interaction
with students.
The purpose of interviewing is not to get
answers to questions, but to find out what stu-
dents think, what is in their mind, and how they
feel about a concept (Seidman, 2006). As Gurel
et al. (2015) explained that when the right in-
terview is conducted, interviewing is the most
effective way to reveal student misconceptions.
They also suggest that using a combination of in-
terviews and other tests like multiple-choice will
make the research instrument better. Although
an interview has many advantages in getting in-
formation, a significant amount of time is nee-
ded, and the researcher requires to join training
to conduct interviews. Besides, interview bias
may be found in research because data analysis
will be a little difficult and complicated (Ton-
gchai et al., 2009).
19. Temperature and heat
20. Energy
21. Sinking and floating
22. Magnet
23. Density
24. Moon phase
25. Gases
26. Mechanics
27. Astronomy
28. Solid matter and pressure
liquid substances
29. Thermal physics
30. Mechanics
31. Hydrostatic Pressure and
Archimedes Law
32. Hydrostatic pressure con-
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
Table 3 depicts information about articles
used interviews as an instrument to reveal stu-
dents’ misconception in science. As shown in the
table, interviews are widely used as the second
or complementary test in research to reveal mis-
conceptions, this may be due to researchers being
unable to work with large samples when using
interviews as the only test and avoiding bias in
assessing and holding an interview.
Open-Ended Tests
In the interest of investigating students’
conceptual understanding, the open-ended ques-
tion is a diagnostic method that is often used to
identify student understanding in science educa-
tion. This method gives students the freedom to
think and write their ideas, but it is a little compli-
cated to evaluate the results or responses because
the problems of using the language and students
tend not to write their understanding in comple-
te sentences (Baranowski, & Weir, 2015). This is
supported by Krosnick (2018) who said that the
open-ended test has several advantages, namely
helping students express their ideas, having an
unlimited range for answers, minimizing in the
answers given by students. However, it also has
some drawbacks such as difficulties in interpre-
ting and analyzing student answers, requiring
specialized skills for getting meaningful answers,
some response answers may not be useful, bias
answers may occur if students do not understand
the topic of the question. Table 4 gives informa-
tion about some reviewed articles from 2015 to
2019 using an open-ended test to investigate stu-
dent misconception in science.
Field Misconception topics References Status
Radioactivity (Yumuşak et al., 2015) Major
Fluid static (Kusairi et al., 2017) Complement
Heat and temperature. (Ratnasari & Suparmi, 2017) Complement
Light (Wartono & Putirulan, 2018) Complement
Electrolyte and ion (Shin et al., 2016) Complement
Thermochemistry, chemical kinetic (Mutlu, & Sesen, 2015). Complement
Enzyme Interacts (Linenberger & Bretz, 2015) Complement
Chemical bonding (Enawaty, & Sartika, 2015) Complement
Particulate nature of matter (Kapici, & Akcay, 2016) Complement
Acid rain, global warming,
greenhouse effect, and ozone layer deple-
(Karpudewan et al., 2015) Major
Evolution of biology (Putri et al., 2017). Complement
Natural science (Murti, & Aminah, 2019). Complement
Global warming (Fajarini et al., 2018) Major
Table 3. Interview in Science Assessment
Table 4. Open-Ended Tests in Science Assessment
Field Misconception Topics References
Physics Projectile motion (Piten et al., 2017)
Net force, acceleration, velocity, and
(Gale et al., 2016)
Heat, temperature and energy concepts (Celik, 2016; Ratnasari, & Suparmi, 2017)
Lenses (Tural, 2015)
Newton’s Law (Alias, & Ibrahim, 2016)
Energy (Lee, 2016)
sinking and floating (Shen et al., 2017)
Light and magnet (Zhang & Misiak, 2015)
electric circuits (Mavhunga et al., 2016)
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
From Table 4, we can find out that the
physics ranked first with 15 sources applying the
open-ended question and followed by biology
with 8 sources. Chemistry, on the other hand,
was the least with only 1 source adopting the type
of test.
Simple Multiple-Choice Test
To overcome difficulties in the interview
and open-ended question test, multiple-choice
tests come as one of the solutions to assess stu-
dent conception with large numbers of partici-
pants. This test is usually the primary test given
before conducting a random interview. The de-
velopment of multiple-choice tests on students
had made valuable contributions to research re-
lated to student misconception (Abdulghani et
al., 2015). The results of student misconception
studies are widely reported using multiple-choice
tests; moreover, the validity of this test has been
evidenced by numerously (Haladyna & Dow-
ning, 2011). Based on the review results, it is kno-
wn that multiple-choice tests are chosen because
they are valid, reliable, and practical. The resear-
chers or teachers will get information about stu-
dents’ misconceptions and knowledge by using
diagnostic instruments. When student miscon-
ceptions are identified, they can provide remedy
related to improper conception with various te-
aching approaches. Some of the benefits of using
multiple-choice tests over other instruments have
been discussed by multiple authors like Çetin et
al. (2009), Eshach et al. (2018), Milner-Bolotin
(2015), and Önder, (2017). In summary, the bene-
fits of multiple-choice tests are: (1) this test allows
researchers to make coverage of various topics in
a relatively short time; (2) multiple-choice tests
are versatile and can be used at different levels of
instruction; (3) objective in assessing answers and
being reliable; (4) simple and quick scoring; (5)
suitable for students who have a good understan-
ding but inadequate to write; (6) ideal as items
of analysis where various variables can be deter-
mined for the analysis process; and (7) valuable
in assessing student misconceptions and can be
used on a large scale.
The main difficulty in multiple-choice tests
is interpreting students’ responses, particularly if
items have not been carefully constructed (Antol
et al., 2015). Researchers can develop test items
with good deception based on student answer
choices. Therefore, Tarman & Kuran (2015) sug-
gested combining interview and multiple-choice
test as an ideal instrument to identify students’
understanding in the assessment process
Moreover, Bassett (2016) and Chang et al.
(2010) affirmed that multiple-choice tests have va-
rious weaknesses as follows: (1) guessing can cau-
se errors on variances and break down reliability;
(2) choices do not provide insight and understan-
ding to students regarding their ideas; (3) students
are forced to have one correct answer from vario-
us answers that can limit the ability to construct,
organize, and interpret their understanding; and
(4) writing an excellent multiple-choice test is
Density (Seah et al., 2015)
General physics concept (Armağan, 2017).
Mechanics (Foisy et al., 2015; Daud et al., 2015)
Digital system (Trotskovsky & Sabag, 2015)
Newton’s Third Law (Zhou et al., 2016)
Energy in ve contexts: radiation, trans-
portation, generating electricity, earth-
quakes, and the big bang theory.
(Lancor, 2015)
Chemistry Particle position in physical changes (Smith & Villarreal, 2015)
Biology Particulate nature of matter (Kapici & Akcay, 2016)
Nature of science (Leung et al., 2015; Wicaksono et al., 2018; Fouad et
al., 2015)
Digestive system (Istikomayanti & Mitasari, 2017; Cardak, 2015)
Energy and climate change (Boylan, 2017)
Biological evolution (Yates & Marek, 2015)
Biology concept (Antink-Meyer et al., 2016)
Introductory biology (Halim et al., 2018)
Ecological concepts (Yücel & Özkan, 2015)
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
difficult. Other critics related to multiple-choice
tests were revealed by Goncher et al. (2016). They
disclosed that multiple-choice tests do not explo-
re student ideas and, sometimes, provide correct
answers for the wrong reasons. In other words,
multiple-choice tests cannot distinguish the right
answer from the true causes or accurate responses
that have wrong reasons so that errors may occur
in the assessment of student misconceptions (Ca-
leon & Subramaniam, 2010a; Eryılmaz, 2010;
Peşman & Eryılmaz, 2010; Vancel et al., 2016).
Moreover, the results of these studies indicate
that the correct answers in the multiple-choice
test do not guarantee the right reason and assess-
ment of the questions made. To cope with the li-
mitations of multiple-choice tests, a multiple-tiers
test was developed in various recent studies.
Table 5. Simple Multiple-Choice Conceptual Tests in Science Assessment
Field Misconception Topics References
Physics Light (Milner-Bolotin, 2015)
Energy and momentums (Dalaklioğlu & Sekercioğlu, 2015)
Fluid static (Kusairi et al., 2017)
Impulse and momentums (Soeharto, 2016; Samsudin et al., 2015)
Temperature and heat (Madu & Orji, 2015; Asri et al., 2017)
Sport physics (Kartiko, 2018)
Energy and force (Nwafor et al., 2015)
Newtons’ Law (Ergin, 2016)
Electric circuits (Sadler & Sonnert, 2016)
Gases (Çetin et al., 2009)
Physical concept (Wind & Gale,2015)
Heat transfer (Wibowo et al., 2016)
Thermal physics (Malik et al., 2019)
Moon phase (Saenpuk & Ruangsuwan, 2019)
Energy material (Wijayanti et al., 2018)
Light (Wartono & Putirulan, 2018)
Heat concept (Haryono, 2018)
Solid matter and pressure liquid
substances (Handhika et al., 2018)
Sound (Eshach et al., 2018)
Hydrostatic pressure and Archi-
medes law
(Berek et al., 2016)
Chemistry Municipal chemistry (Milenković et al., 2016b)
Chemical bonding (Vrabec & Prokša, 2016; Enawaty & Sartika, 2015)
Enzyme Interacts (Linenberger & Bretz, 2015)
Chemical bonding and spontane-
ity (Ikenna, 2015)
Electrochemistry (Önder, 2017)
Acid-base (Sadhu et al., 2017; Sadhu, 2019)
Acid-base and solubility equilib-
rium. (Masykuri & Rahardjo, 2018)
Biology Photosynthesis (Orbanić et al., 2016)
Evolution of biology (Putri et al., 2017; Helmi et al., 2019)
Natural science (Subayani, 2016; Murti & Aminah, 2019)
Global warming (Fajarini et al., 2018)
Ecology (Butler et al., 2015)
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
Table 5 gives information about some ar-
ticles using multiple-choice tests as a diagnostic
instrument. Most physics subject studies are car-
ried out using multiple-choice tests. Besides, it
can also be inferred from other tests that physics
also ranks the top in the field of science where
students often experience misconceptions.
Two-Tier Multiple-Choice Test
In general, the two-tier tests are diagnostic
instruments with a first tier in the form of mul-
tiple-choice questions, and the second tier in the
form of reasons that are compatible with multip-
le-choice sets on the first tier (Adadan & Savasci,
2012). Student answers are stated to be true if
the answer choices of contents and reasons are
correct. Distracters in two-tier tests are based on
a collection of literature, student interviews, and
textbooks. Two-tier tests are the development of
a diagnostic instrument because students’ reasons
can be measured and linked to answers related to
misconceptions. With two-tier tests, researchers
can even find student answers that have not been
thought of before. (Tsui & Treagust, 2010). Ada-
dan & Savasci (2012) also stated that two-tier tests
make students easier to respond the question and
more practical to be used by researchers in vario-
us ways such as reducing guesses, large-scale use,
ease of scoring, giving explanations regarding
student reasoning. Table 6 summarizes the two-
tier multiple-choice tests used for research about
students’ misconceptions in science.
Table 6. Two-Tier Multiple-Choice Tests in Science Assessment
Field Misconception Topics References
Physics Power (Lin, 2016)
Radioactivity (Yumuşak et al.,2015)
Impulse and momentums (Saifullah et al., 2017)
Astronomy (Kanli, 2015)
Chemistry Fire Concept (Potvin et al., 2015)
Thermochemistry, Chemical Kinetics (Mutlu, & Sesen, 2015).
The Mole Concept (Siswaningsih et al., 2017)
Acid-base and argentometric titration (Widarti et al., 2017)
Redox titration (Widarti et al., 2016)
Biology Osmosis and diffusion (AlHarbi et al., 2015)
Plant transport (Vitharana, 2015)
Antibiotic resistance (Stevens et al., 2017)
A study that provides a critique of the use
of two-tier tests was conducted by Gurel et al.
(2017) in the discipline of physics, especially for
geometrical optics. They say that two-tier tests
may provide an invalid alternative concept, but
it is uncertain whether student errors are caused
by misunderstandings or unnecessary words in
the exam which prompts the question to be too
long to read. Thus, another test in the form of
a four-tier test needs to be developed. Another
disadvantage related to two-tier tests is revealed
by Vitharana (2015), who confirmed that the
choice of answers in two-tier tests could guide
students regarding the correct answers. The ans-
wer choices related to misconceptions have a lo-
gical relationship with the reason; for example,
students can choose answers to the second tier
because the answers must be connected to res-
ponses to first-tier questions, or part of the two-
tier test can provide responses that are interre-
lated and half correct, therefore, students find
it easier to find the right answer using this logic
(Caleon & Subramaniam, 2010a). Therefore,
two-tier tests may overestimate or underestima-
te student conceptions so that it is challenging to
predict disparities in terms of student miscon-
ceptions and knowledge with two-tier tests (Ca-
leon & Subramaniam, 2010a, 2010b; Peşman &
Eryılmaz, 2010). To overcome this problem, an
alternative blank answer is given in the part of
the reason in the second-tier question for the stu-
dents to write responses that give explanations
related to their understanding (Eryılmaz, 2010;
Kanli, 2015; Peşman & Eryılmaz, 2010).
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
To sum up, two-tier tests have benefits
compared to simple multiple-choice tests, in-
terviews, and open-ended tests. This test pro-
vides an answer option for multiplying student
reasoning or interpretation toward the question
of misconception in science. However, two-tier
tests have several limitations and disadvantages
in distinguishing misconceptions, mistakes, or
scientific understanding. For this reason, several
recent studies have conducted a three-tier and
four-tier test to diagnose student misconceptions
in science learning.
Three-Tier Multiple-Choice Test
Limitations appearing in two-tier tests
encourage researchers to develop three-tier tests
that have items to measure the level of confi-
dence in the answers given to each two-tier item
question (Aydeniz et al., 2017; Caleon & Subra-
maniam, 2010a; Eryılmaz, 2010; Sen & Yilmaz,
Table 7. Three-Tier Multiple-Choice Tests in Science Assessment
2017; Sugiarti, 2015; Taslidere, 2016). The first
tier is the simple multiple choice step, the second
tier is the possible reasons of the given answer
for the first tier, and the third tier is the confiden-
ce step for the first two tiers.
Students’ answers to each question item
are considered correct when if the answers of
the first is accurate and equipped with reason
with advanced confidence in the second and
third tier. Likewise, students’ answers are consi-
dered incorrect when the response to the wrong
concept choice is accompanied by false reasons
that have a high level of confidence. Three-tier
tests are considered more accurate in identifying
students’ misconceptions. The three-tier test can
detect students’ lack of understanding by using
a level of confidence in the answers given by stu-
dents, and this condition helps researchers get a
more accurate percentage of misconceptions as
each student needs different treatments to cor-
rect their misconceptions.
Field Misconception Topics References
Physics Photoelectric effect (Taslidere, 2016)
Heat and Temperature (Kusairi, & Zulaikah, 2017; Putri & Rohmawati,
Dynamics Rotation (Syahrul, 2015)
Simple Current
Circuits (Osman, 2017)
Heat, temperature and internal energy (Gurcay & Gulbas, 2015)
Geometrical Optics (Taslidere & Eryilmaz, 2015)
Particulate Nature of Matter (Aydeniz et al., 2017)
Heat (Irsyad et al., 2018)
Kinetic theory of gases (Prastiwi et al., 2018)
Newton’s Laws of Motion Concept (Sulistri & Lisdawati, 2017)
Hydrostatic pressure concept (Wijaya et al., 2016)
Astronomy (Korur, 2015)
Chemistry Chemical Bonding (Sen & Yilmaz, 2017; Sugiarti, 2015)
Carbohydrates (Milenkovic et al., 2016a)
Ionic and Covalent Bonds Concepts (Prodjosantoso & Hertina, 2019)
Adaptations , habitat, biosphere, eco-
system, food chain and food web,
functions of ecosystem, biomass and
(Oberoi, 2017)
Human Reproduction (Taufiq, et al., 2017)
The Human and Plant Transport Systems. (Ainiyah, et al., 2018)
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
In many uses of the three-tier test, resear-
chers developed it by combining various diagnos-
tic methods for misconceptions such as open-en-
ded tests and interviews. The diversity of ways in
collecting data related to student misconceptions
provides a good foundation in the development
of valid and reliable diagnostic assessments. Tab-
le 7 provides information on the use of three-tier
tests to find out student misconceptions in scien-
ce education. To sum up, three-tier tests have se-
veral advantages, which can determine students
misconceptions more accurately because they
can distinguish misconceptions and ignorance.
Therefore, three-tier tests are considered more va-
lid and reliable in assessing student mispercepti-
on than simple multiple-choice and two-tier tests
(Aydeniz et al., 2017; Taslidere, 2016). However,
three-tier tests also have drawbacks because the
level of confidence is only used in choices related
to reasons so that there may be the overestimation
of the proportions of knowledge in the student’s
answer scoring. For this reason, four-tier tests
that provide a level of confidence in the content
and reason are made and introduced recently.
Four-Tier Multiple-Choice Test and Multi-
Tier Test
Although the three-tier tests are considered
to valid and realiable in measuring student mis-
conceptions, the three-tier tests still have some
disadvantages due to limitations in converting
confidence ratings on the first and second tier.
This situation causes two problems: first, the per-
centage of knowledge is too low; and second, es-
timations are too excessive on scores of student
misconceptions and correct answers.
Table 8. Four-Tier Multiple-Choice Tests in Sci-
ence Assessment
Field Misconception
Topics References
Physics Geometrical optics (Gurel et al.,
2017; Fariyani et
al., 2017)
Energy and mo-
(Afif et al., 2017)
Static electricity (Hermita et al.,
Solid matter and
pressure liquid
(Ammase et al.,
In several reviewed articles related to stu-
dent misconceptions in science education, only
a few studies employed four-tier tests rather
than three-tier tests. Table 8 shows that the four-
tier multiple-choice tests are only used in rese-
arch in the field of physics. Although four tier
multiple-choice tests are considered being able
to eliminate the problems mentioned in the pre-
vious tests, this test still has some drawbacks. It
requires quite a long time for the testing process
and is quite difficult to use in achievement tests;
also, the possible choice of student answers at
the first level can influence responses at the next
tier questions (Ammase et al., 2019; Caleon &
Subramaniam, 2010b; Sreenivasulu & Subrama-
niam, 2013).
We also found three studies that tried to
combine several multi-tier questions into new
multiple-tier questions (Maier et al., 2016; Ro-
mine et al., 2015; Sari, 2019). The instrument
test used is a combination of two-tier, three-tier,
and four-tier question. Table 9 shows that the
use of multiple tier tests is rarely done in science
In the last part of the discussion, this stu-
dy will give some comparisons related to the
trends of diagnostic instruments used to identify
students’ misconception in science from Wan-
dersee et al. (1994) and Gurel et al. (2015). In
addition, this study highlights the benefits and
drawbacks of each instrument used in diagnos-
tic research on science education.
Figure 2 show the comparison related the
trends of diagnostic assessment tools used to
identify misconception in science. In previous
studies, on 103 reviews of misconceptions ana-
lyzed by Wandersee et al., (1994), 6% used open-
ended tests, 8% used questionnaire, 19% used sor-
ting tasks, 20% used multiple-choice tests, 46%
used interviews. Another study related student
Field Misconception
Topics References
Biology Concept of adapta-
(Maier et al.,
Water Cycle (Romine et al.,
Concept of water
(Sari, 2019)
Table 9. Multi-Tier Multiple-Choice Tests in Sci-
ence Assessment
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
misconceptions in science education was con-
ducted by Gurel et al. (2015). They found that
out of a total of 273 articles analyzed using docu-
ment analysis methods from 1980 to 2014 studies
using multiple tier tests (13%), multiple-choice
tests (32%), open-ended tests (34%), interviews
(53%) as diagnostic tools to identify students’
misconception. Comparing with them, the fin-
dings of the literature review show that the trend
in identifying misconceptions has changed. Most
researchers prefer simple multiple-choice tests
(32.23%) and multiple tier tests (33.06%). The
trends in using diagnostics instruments had chan-
ged. In this review we found that that interview
(10.74%), simple multiple-choice tests (32.23%)
and multiple tier tests (33.06%), and open-ended
tests (23.97%) commonly used as diagnostic tests.
Figure 2. Trends in Diagnostic Assessment to Identify Students’ Misconception in Science
The character of misconception is resis-
tant and persistent to change and problematic in
the development of future scientific knowledge.
It is essential to identify and overcome miscon-
ceptions. Table 10 shows that the instrument has
strengths and weaknesses over each other. Rese-
archers or teachers who want to use these instru-
ments must be careful and cautious in using the
right methods to achieve their research goals.
Table 10. Comparison of Benefits and Drawbacks of Each Diagnostic Instrument to Assess Miscon-
ceptions in Science
Instruments to Diagnose Student Misconception in Science Education
Interview Open-ended test Simple
choice test
Three-tier multi-
ple-choice test
Four-tier multiple-
choice test
tion data.
provides op-
portunities for
students to
convey their
of the concept.
time ef-
has all the ben-
efits of Simple
has all the ben-
efits of Two-tier
has all the ben-
efits of Three-tier
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
The flexibility
of item ques-
may provide
answers that
were not
thought of by
scores can
be managed
efficiently and
provides an
to assess the
of student
can determine
the answers giv-
en in two tiers
are misconcep-
tions, lack of
knowledge, or
can identify mis-
conceptions that
are free of errors
and misunder-
instrument is
can be used in
large partici-
takes a signifi-
cant amount
of time to
grading the
needs time to
analyze data
of student
does not
provide an
of student
ing students’
because they
cannot judge a
student’s lack
of knowledge
of reasoning
student answer
needs a long test-
ing time
need specific
skills to con-
duct inter-
students tend
to give a weak
response so
that it is dif-
ficult to do
students may
give cor-
rect answers
with wrong
or misconcep-
the lack of un-
derstanding of
students when
unable to deter-
mine whether
students are
confident or
not with the
effectiveness and
usefulness may
only be for tests
to diagnose mis-
data analysis
is difficult and
difficult to
make a well-
item question
it is difficult
to answer eas-
ily and freely
when not
trusting the
Based on the conducted review related to
student misconceptions in science education, we
found various topics that often caused miscon-
ceptions, instruments used to identify misleading,
as well as each test advantages and disadvantages.
The findings revealed that the top most subject
which students mainly misled is physics with 33
concepts, chemistry with 12 concepts, and biolo-
gy with 15 concepts.
Interviews are still used as a diagnostic
tool in science at present. In some studies, the
interview is used as the primary and second
Soeharto, B. Csapó, E. Sarimanah, F. I. Dewi, T. Sabri / JPII 8 (2) (2019) 247-266
instrument (Yumuşak et al., 2015; Karpudewan
et al., 2015; Fajarini et al., 2018). Even though
multiple tier tests (33.06%) is the most common
instrument used at present study to identify mis-
conceptions. The use of multiple-choice tests and
multi-tier tests has increased than before 2015.
However, the number of applications for mul-
tiple-choice tests in biology was found to be less
than for the chemistry and physics subject. The
research using four-tiered multiple-choice tests
was still little in the study to diagnose misconcep-
tions and needed to be improved.
Besides, the researchers also found seve-
ral combinations of instruments used in analy-
zing student misconceptions in science educa-
tion. Such a combination is better than a single
method (Gurel et al., 2015). Therefore, to make
valid interpretations regarding student miscon-
ceptions, some test instruments are used together
and produce valuable findings. Written and oral
instruments have their advantages and disadvan-
tages. Performing an integrated combination can
strengthen the method of analysis in obtaining
data and eliminating weaknesses found in a sing-
le instrument.
This study is expected to help researchers
who want to conduct research related to student
misconceptions in science. According to the fin-
dings, this study suggests three main steps before
doing future similar studies namely; (1) exami-
ning the concepts which usually distribute mis-
conception to students; (2) choosing diagnostic
instrument according to benefits and drawbacks;
and (3) using two or more instrument combinati-
on to enhance research quality.
The authors appreciate the financial
support of Tempus Public Foundation from
Hungarian Government through Stipendium
Hungaricum Scholarship which had funded in-
ternational students to pursue study in Hungary,
and The Doctoral Schools of Educational Scien-
ces Program which always supports research pro-
gram and gives the new idea in research view. We
want to thank the Ph.D. Forum of the University
of Szeged for discussions and suggestions that
they provide for all doctoral student, and STKIP
Singkawang as institution partner giving the idea
and offers the opportunity to do future research.
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... For example, students may find it difficult to understand the concept of light because they are unable to link the implementation in actual activity or practice. Many factors are connected with the process leading to knowledge construction based on initial beliefs, including knowledge from sensory experiences, cultural backgrounds, peers, teachers, textbooks and classroom learning (Kiray & Simsek, 2021;Liu & Mckeough, 2005;Soeharto et al., 2019;Vosniadou, 2012). Educators and scholars have described different conceptual changes experienced by an individual derived from their intuitive beliefs, life experiences, cultural influences and learning and teaching processes (Arslan et al., 2012;Galvin & Mooney, 2015;Keeley, 2012). ...
... Treagust, 1986), concept maps (Van Zele et al., 2004) and multitier multiple-choice tests (Arslan et al., 2012;Galvin & Mooney, 2015;Kirbulut & Geban, 2014;Peşman & Eryılmaz, 2010). The multiple-tier multiple-choice test has been the most popular assessment instrument, having been used by 33.06% of science education researchers from 2015 to 2019 (Soeharto et al., 2019). A two-tier diagnostic test, a type of multitier instrument used to determine student misconceptions, consists of two levels that assess scale content and student reasoning J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f (Korkmaz et al., 2018). ...
... A total of 16 concepts pertaining to science misconceptions were selected and constructed into the two-tier multiple-choice test form. We chose common science concepts to determine student misconceptions based on a literature review and misconceptions in science learning handbooks (AAAS, 2012;Csapó, 1998;Soeharto et al., 2019). The instrument was checked by two experts in science education and one expert in English-Indonesian lecturer to confirm content validity whereby the pilot study had been J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f Figure 1. ...
Full-text available
This study aims to investigate the development and the differences in student misconceptions in science based on gender and grade level, and to evaluate the developed two-tier multiple-choice diagnostic test in confirming the test’s validity and reliability. A sample of 856 participants from 10th–12th graders and prospective science teachers were collected. The two-tier multiple-choice diagnostic test with 32 items covering biology, chemistry, and physics was administered to evaluate students’ science misconceptions at the senior high school and university levels. The results met validity and reliability criteria using confirmatory factor analysis and Rasch parameter. The single-factor model has CFI = .973, RMSEA = .006, CI (.001, .014) and SRMR = .017 and the three-factor model has CFI = 0.939, RMSEA = .010, CI (.01, .017) and SRMR = .017. Based on the Rasch parameter, the infit and outfit MNSQ value achieves acceptable fit (0.96 to 1) with good item reliability (.99) and person reliability (.80). All items have positive PTMA. Student misconceptions had significant differences in terms of grade and gender. We confirmed that prospective science teachers have higher misconceptions than 11th and 12th graders and slightly higher ones than 10th graders. Boys have a better conceptual understanding than girls based on means of correct answers. The multiple linear regression with the stepwise method confirmed that gender significantly predicted student misconceptions of science concepts, with 9% of variance explained. This study provided evidence that students and prospective teachers experience various misconceptions about science concepts. revisi abstract
... that students have difficulty with. Soeharto et al (2019) gives a recent overview. ...
... After the emergence of the Force Concept Inventory (Hestenes et al 1992), which was the first concept inventory to be developed, many other concept inventories have been developed. A limited overview is given in Libarkin (2008) and more recently by Soeharto et al (2019). ...
The purpose of this study is to develop a test to assess students’ level of counterintuitiveness in basic electric circuits. Data from four samples were gathered and used to develop and validate the counterintuitive basic electric circuit test (CBECT). The initial version of the CBECT was administered to the first sample and data collected from this sample were used for the pilot study. The aim of the data collected from the second sample was to comb out the items that were not counterintuitive. The data collected from the third sample were used for concurrent validity issues while data from the fourth sample was used for the test-retest reliability analysis. Finally, 26 items that can be used to determine counterintuitive cases in basic electric circuits at the high school level were constructed.
... Some literature uses different word choices for misconceptions. Other terms misconceptions areal: alternative conceptions, conceptual difficulties, misunderstandings and others [23,24]. ...
There are limited studies on the diagnosis of thermodynamics misconceptions using a four-tier instrument diagnostic test. Therefore, this identifies the misconceptions in thermodynamics material. The survey research was conducted on 577 students at SMAN in Semarang, Central Java. Students were selected using a simple random sampling technique. Identification of student misconceptions was done using the Four Tier Thermodynamics Diagnostic Test (4T-TDT). Students’ conceptual understanding was calculated using the percentage technique. The results of this study indicate that many students still have misconceptions about the concept of thermodynamics. The findings are expected to be a strategic step for designing appropriate remedial teaching. Keywords: thermodynamics, misconception, four-tier diagnostic test, alternative conception
... Cognitive conflict strategies can be carried out in various ways or methods, 16 including cognitive conflict interviews. 17,18 The strategy of cognitive conflict interview allows researchers to ask in-depth questions to obtain broader and more profound answers. 19,20 Cognitive conflict interviews can also elaborate on students' cognitive structures 18 to uncover their misconceptions. ...
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Research has shown that most chemistry teachers have misconceptions about covalent bonding. This study investigates whether the cognitive conflict interview technique could persuade teachers to revise their possible misconceptions of covalent bonding. Eight chemistry teachers from different schools participated in this study. Two validated instruments, cognitive conflict technique inter-view guidelines and the open-ended covalent bonding test, were employed for data collection. The results showed that cognitive conflict interviews could facilitate respondents to overcome their misconceptions about covalent bonding. Five of the eight respondents experienced a conceptual change from misconceptions to scientific conceptions, and three others experienced a partial conceptual change. Six concepts previously a source of misconceptions was eliminated and turned into a scientific concept instead. Of the 46 cases of misconceptions, 41 cases turned into scientific conceptions. The result of this study serves as an initial perspective for exploring the effectiveness of cognitive conflict interviews more broadly.
... Therefore, it is imperative that studies related to the evaluation of inductive reasoning in the Indonesian context are conducted. It is possible that because inductive reasoning is closely related to mathematics, reading, and science performance (De Koning et al., 2002;Nikolov & Csapó, 2018;Soeharto et al., 2019), it was students' low inductive reasoning ability that resulted in Indonesia's low ranking in the 2018 PISA report in which the country was placed 71 st out of 77 participating countries (OECD, 2020). Because inductive reasoning was not embedded in the Indonesian core curriculum directly, only a paucity of related studies have been conducted in school and educational contexts during the past ten years (Istikomah et al., 2017;Siswono et al., 2020). ...
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Inductive reasoning is an ability related to student academic achievement and is embedded in 21st-century competency frameworks. The purpose of this study was to evaluate Indonesian students’ inductive reasoning, validate the adapted inductive reasoning test for Indonesia, and classify the difficulty of items and students’ reasoning ability. The participants included 856 students in Grades 10, 11, and 12 in senior high schools as well as undergraduate students in higher educational institutions in West Kalimantan province, Indonesia. Four different tasks were employed to assess student inductive reasoning. The data collection comprised an online-based test through the eDia assessment platform and a traditional paper-based test. The results from the Rasch analysis demonstrated that the adapted inductive reasoning test met the validity and reliability criteria based on Rasch parameters. Differential item functioning (DIF) analysis revealed that only one of the 40 items had moderate to large DIF based on the test method. The results further revealed that students performed better in solving figural items than numeric items. Furthermore, older students in higher grades had higher logit measures than younger students. No significant differences were found between students in grades 10 and 11. However, no significant differences were found between females and males. The difficulty of items and students’ abilities were also classified to understand the evaluation of students’ inductive reasoning.
... Therefore, teachers should be well pre-pared to implement successful curriculum oriented on conceptual change. Several studies show that teachers do not have inadequate understanding of scientific idea (Anisimova et al., 2020) and others reported that students and teachers have the same naïve idea (Soeharto et al., 2019;Chancey et al., 2021). This study proposes that future researches on conceptual change to keep exploring both pre-service teachers' and teachers' preparation in implementing conceptual change learning. ...
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This study aims to deliver a summary of conceptual change research based on scientific production, most relevant researchers and countries, co-authorship collaboration, and research foci. A bibliometric analysis of the scientific output in the field of conceptual change was carried out utilizing articles published between 2012 and 2021.A total of 515 articles published in educational psychology, cognitive science and science education journals were extracted from Scopus databases. The main findings reveal that the number of articles on conceptual change during the 2012-2021 period is relatively constant. Co-authorship collaborations predominantly consist of researchers from the same country. In addition, a shift in the research foci was observed. Past studies have been widely carried out across disciplines, such as educational psychology, cognitive science, and pedagogic. Meanwhile, recent research foci have brought up curriculum and curriculum development as important keywords.
... The diagnostic method with an openended question and multiple-choice tests is widely used, 23.97% and 32.23%, respectively. The rest used the interview method, two-tier, and three-tier diagnostic tests (Soeharto et al., 2019). Several previous misconceptions studies have also used two-tier and three-tier diagnostic tests (W. ...
Students often have difficulty understanding acid-base material, so it has the potential to cause misconceptions. If the students' misconceptions are left unattended and not immediately identified, there will be ongoing misconceptions. This study aimed to describe the misconceptions that occur in acid-base material and determine the large percentage of students who experience misconceptions. The method used in this research is descriptive quantitative. The subjects of this study consisted of 108 students of class XII MA Matholi'ul Anwar. The identification of misconceptions used a four-tier diagnostic test instrument with 20 items. The students' answers from the test were then analyzed and categorized into understanding concepts, not understanding concepts, and misconceptions. This study found that 50% of students hold misconceptions about acid-base theories, 59% in acid-base indicators, 55% in acid-base ionization constant, 58% in pH, 55% in the calculation of pH and 51.9% in pH concepts in the environment.
... According to Carey (2000), "the main barrier to learning [...] is not what the student lacks, but what the student has, namely, alternative conceptual frameworks for understanding the phenomena covered by the theories we are trying to teach". These alternative frameworks, also called "preconceptions" or "misconceptions", are ideas or insights based on an event or personal experience that are discordant with an accepted scientific point of view (Goris & Dyrenfurth, 2010;Soeharto et al., 2019). They are widespread among students regardless of their education level and the topic in question and represent a physiological pattern of cognitive development and an important factor affecting science and other fields of learning (Carey, 2000;Goris & Dyrenfurth, 2010). ...
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The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by rich biodiversity, and its region hosts people living in several countries with a rich variety of cultures, but-at the same time-it is "under siege", due to anthropogenic pressures. To address these pressures, many actions are needed aiming, among others, at establishing Ocean Literacy (OL) across the Mediterranean countries and preparing the future generation of Mediterranean Sea-literate citizens. Towards this aim, the present cross-national study investigated OL issues in relation to content knowledge, possible common misconceptions, attitudes, and the self-reported behaviour of 2,533 middle school students from eight Mediterranean countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain and Turkey), as well as certain background elements (e.g., gender, grade level, environmental education experience, sources of relevant information). The results of this study revealed that middle school students of all studied countries possess a moderate level of ocean sciences content knowledge, while they showed satisfactory pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour. These findings along with further research are expected to function as a baseline for the design, implementation, and launch of specifically targeted programmes, educational activities, teaching resources, curricula and school textbooks, which will be achieved through close collaboration between schools, universities, research institutes, and Ministries of Education, thus contributing to the future protection and sustainable development of the Mediterranean Sea region.
The purpose of current study was to investigate the effect of conceptual change–oriented instruction accompanied by conceptual change texts enriched with concept cartoons, gender, and their interaction on primary preservice teachers’ conceptual understanding and their attitudes towards simple electricity. Participants were 225 sophomores from six intact classes in a state university. A quasi-experimental design was used and the study lasted in 3-week treatment period. The experimental group studied the simple electricity concept with the application of the conceptual change texts enriched with concept cartoons and the control group studied it with traditional instruction. Seven conceptual change texts with concept cartoons were developed, keeping students’ misconceptions in mind. Students’ conceptual understanding and attitudes were measured by two-tired misconception test and physics attitude scale respectively. They were administered as pre- and post-tests before and after instructions. The main effects of treatment, gender, and their interaction on post-test scores were examined via MANCOVA with pre-conceptual understanding and pre-attitude scores used as covariates. The analyses yielded a significant treatment effect, but insignificant gender and gender × treatment interaction effects on the collective dependent variables of the post-test scores. The ANCOVA results revealed that the conceptual change–oriented instruction affected students’ conceptual understanding significantly with respect to traditional instruction, but it had insignificant effect on their attitudes. This study revealed that the use of the conceptual change texts enriched with concept cartoons is likely to be effective for primary preservice teachers’ conceptual understanding in teaching simple electricity.
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The difference between students' ideas and scientific conceptions, is called misconceptions. Physics learning needs to be designed by teachers to eradicate misconceptions. This paper provides a review of 72 international journal articles on diagnosis methods, causes, and ways of remediating misconceptions that have been published between 2005-2020. The results obtained various diagnostic tools for physics misconceptions: interviews, open-ended tests, multiple-choice tests, and multiple-tier tests. Knowledge of some causes and the ability to diagnose becomes the basis for determining remediation strategies or preventing misconceptions. Interviews are suitable for revealing new misconceptions with a few participants, while the four-tier test is more effective for many participants. The most effective remediation strategies through the conceptual change approach are Simulation-Based Experiment, Conceptual Change Texts, and Inquiry-Based Learning. The development of diagnostic tools and remediation methods remains a more challenging topic for future research.
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Science is knowledge consisting of a collection of concepts. The wrong concept understanding will lead to misconceptions in students. The main purpose of this research is to analyze primary school students’ misconception through six tier diagnostic tests about the concept of water characteristics. This research used descriptive qualitative approach. Data were collected by using six tier diagnostic test. The subjects of this study are the fifth grade students of primary school. Based on the results of data analysis, researchers found that almost half of the students experience the misconceptions on the concept of water characteristics including water gives pressure, soapy water cleans oily dirt, and water dissolves various substances. The six tier diagnostic test instrument show the primary school students’ misconception on the concept of water characteristics. Some factors that cause misconceptions in students are students' prior knowledge, teacher mistaken, and errors in textbooks.
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Static electricity is the introductory chapter to electricity in all high school and university Physics textbooks. The interpretations of static electricity phenomena are not obvious, even in higher education. This research was conducted to identify the major difficulties which pre-service primary teachers encounter in explaining static electricity. They conducted electrostatic experiments focused on different types of electricity, in the context of an Introductory Physics Laboratory Course. The data were collected through the reports they wrote at the end of the course. The qualitative content analysis method was used in order to analyze the data. The sample, which was a convenient one, consisted of 200 pre-service primary teachers, 170 females and 30 males. The analysis showed that pre-service primary teachers have considerable difficulty conceptualizing the microscopic processes – more specifically, charging by induction – that explain these phenomena. The different roles electrons play in conductors and insulators seemed to pose difficulties for pre-service primary teachers. The findings implied an emphasis on microscopic models during macroscopic experimental processes. This could help pre-service primary teachers to understand the role of electrons in conductors and insulators and the different mechanism involved in different types of charging.
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Science literacy shows that students should be familiar with the most basic principles of science, one of which is Newton's Law. The purpose of this research is to determine the ability of high school students in Newton's Law of science literacy using a test based on Nature Of Science (NOS). The NOS-based instrument consists of 25 multiple-choice test items with 4 alternative options modified by Nature of Science Literacy Test (NOSLiT) and is specifically developed on Newton's Law. The subjects of this study are 110 high school students of the IPA program. Data collection techniques were performed using tests based on NOS-based instruments and interviews using questionnaires. The method of his research used descriptive qualitative. The results show that the average percentage of students who answered correctly was 38.73% of 110 students. The highest average percentage was shown in the scientific disposition framework is 53.33% of students answered correctly, and the lowest in the major misconception about science framework is 23.93%. Based on the results of the study can be concluded that students who can't answer correctly about the NOS are the students who are less able to understand the language of the questions presented in the instrument NOS. Other factors that influence student performance in answering questions on the NOS are knowledge of science that is still less widespread, low student understanding and still many misconceptions on Newton's law. It can be said that the student has a low literacy ability in science.
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This study aimed to explore the factors that contribute to students' misconceptions in light and optical instruments concept. Misconceptions impede the students' conceptual understanding of science learning. Misconceptions are considered to have occurred if the students' understanding of a concept differs from what is understood by the scientific community. An analysis of the literature reveals that everyday experiences, language used, teachers and textbooks are the main factors contributing to students' misconceptions of light and optical instruments in science learning. By analyzing these factors, it would make sense to minimize the contributing factors that might help promote the students to achieve conceptual understanding in light and optical instruments concept.
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The purpose of this research was to understand the misconception level of 10th grade students in Yogyakarta province of Indonesia in understanding the concept of ionic and covalent bonds. The ionic and covalent bonds were chosen based on the need assessment on chemistry teachers. This study was inclueded qualitative descriptive research which described the level of students’ misconceptions. The sample of this study was 56 students of 10th grade students. The sample was selected by using purposive random sampling technique. The data was collected by three-tier diagnostic test. The data was analysed to determine the percentage of misconception level. The results indicated that the 10th grade students in Yogyakarta suffered misconception with high, medium, and low categories of 19.05%, 42.86%, and 9.52%, respectively.
Students enter physics classes often having an understanding of basic concepts which is incomplete or incorrect. In this study, we investigate the performance difference between males and females on one particular question of the Thermodynamics Concept Survey (TCS). The question evaluates student understanding of the heat (energy) that is transferred during change of state and change of temperature. We find that males outperform females, in the pre-and post-instruction tests. However, using transition matrices with the hierarchy of answer choices, reveals that females are more likely than males to improve their understanding from an incorrect answer to a better incorrect answer. This improvement is not captured in the facilities, or normalised learning gains. Hence while the gap in conceptual understanding is reduced after the instruction, this is not rewarded in the usual binary multiple-choice scoring system. © 2019 Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education.
em>This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of science worksheets with cognitive conflict strategies to reduce student heat misconceptions. This research was conducted at SMP Negeri 1 Lamongan by using one group pretest-posttest design. The data obtained in this study is quantitative data, and the number of students in VII grade is 50, students are called to complete the research if the proportion of correct answers is more significant than the standard achievement test. While the class is said to complete the study if 85% of students can reach the standard test criteria. The researcher obtained information about the level of mastery of students' concepts by using N-gain, one method in the descriptive qualitative analysis. It shows the different levels of student mastery before and after treatment given. The effectiveness of the Science Worksheet will be analyzed from the acquisition of learning outcomes. This yields 0.94 points which means that the value of N-Gain is in the sufficient category, it can be said that the application of the Science Worksheet with cognitive conflict strategies can reduce heat misconceptions of junior high school students.</em
Conference Paper
The cause of moon phase is seem to be complicated for student, such that they almost performed misconception when tested. This study investigated the effective of using metacognitive strategies for improving grade 8 student’s understanding in moon phase. There are 30 student participated in this study. The framework of the study is interpretive paradigm. The data were obtained from 3 open-ended question about cause of moon phase and interview. Their responses has been categorized into groups by considering to scientific concept. And it could be grouped into 7 categories as following: 1) The moon rotate around the earth. Difference position of the moon cause of difference illuminated. 2) The earth obstruct the light fall on the moon 3) Clouds cover part of the moon 4) The shadow of the earth fall on the moon 5) The illuminated of the sun has difference 6) Earth rotation 7) The moon rotate around the earth and the angle between Sun, Earth and Moon. The post-test had done soon after finished the metacognitive strategy approach. The categories group was decrease from 7 to 4 groups, the remains group were 1), 2), 5) and 7). The number of student in group 7, student with correct scientific concept, increased. In-depth interview and document analysis show that many student has planning, implementing and checking concept during learning by themselves. They claim this steps can help them to understand learning and thinking process and understanding better related concept. It could be the students use the metacognitive strategies in learning.