Nancy Bigley (Committee Chair), Barbara Hull (Committee Chair), William Romine (Advisor)
Master of Science (MS)
In this study an assessment (VirEMiA) on college students' knowledge and misconceptions of the Ebola virus was created and validated. VirEMiA was then used to determine what misconceptions college students have about Ebola, if there is a difference in misconceptions between students with and without a strong science background, and if Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) increases students' knowledge of Ebola and decreases their misconceptions. VirEMiA was shown to be a valid and reliable assessment whether confidence was integrated (seprel=0.97) or not (seprel=0.98), and for measuring misconceptions (seprel=0.97). If psychology and nursing majors were considered to have a strong background in science, the difference in misconceptions between students with and without a strong background in biology was not statistically or practically significant (tdf=392=1.86, p=0.06, d=0.19). However, if psychology and nursing majors were not considered to have a strong science background, there was a statistically and practically significant difference in misconceptions between students with and without a strong science background (tdf=392=4.18, p<<0.001, d=0.64). When VirEMiA was used as pre-homework for a class utilizing JiTT, student got about 4.4 more questions on the post-test correct compared to the pre-test, and the difference in their scores is statistically and practically significant (tdf=116=9.11; p<<0.001; d=0.84). Students also had about 7 fewer misconceptions after learning about Ebola, and this difference was practically and statistically significant (tdf=116=-9.80; p<<0.01; d=-0.91). These results show VirEMiA to be a valid and reliable instrument for measuring students' knowledge and misconceptions. It also showed that students' with a strong background in science do have fewer misconceptions than students without a strong background in science, as expected.
Department or Program
Microbiology and Immunology
Year Degree Awarded
Copyright 2016, all rights reserved. My ETD will be available under the "Fair Use" terms of copyright law.