Pedagogy in Action > Library > ConcepTests > ConcepTest Examples > ConcepTest: Divergent Boundary Sketch

ConcepTest: Divergent Boundary Sketch

ConcepTest questions by David McConnell, David Steer, Walter Borowski, Jeffrey Dick, Annabelle Foos, Jeffrey Knott, Alvin Konigsberg, Michelle Malone, Heidi McGrew, Kathie Owens, and Stephen Van Horn

Created with funding from NSF CCLI Award #0087894.
This material was originally created for Starting Point:Introductory Geology
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.


The figure below was drawn by a student to show the relationship between earthquake epicenters (filled circles) and a divergent plate boundary (red line). The figure represents a boundary between two oceanic plates. The size of the filled circle indicates the earthquake magnitude. What would be the best advice you could give to the student to improve the figure? This figure would best be improved if

a. the figure was redrawn to replace the small magnitude earthquakes and with medium and large magnitude earthquakes.
b. the figure was redrawn to replace the medium magnitude earthquakes and with small and large magnitude earthquakes.
c. the figure was redrawn to replace the large magnitude earthquakes and with small and medium magnitude earthquakes.

Student Divergent Boundary Sketch

Student Responses:

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References and Notes:

The use of ConcepTests and Peer Instruction is discussed in detail on the ConcepTest page.

McConnell, D.A., Steer, D.N. and Owens, K.A., 2003, Assessment and Active Learning Strategies for Introductory Geology Courses, Journal of Geoscience Education, 51(2), 205-216.

McConnell, D.A., Steer et al., 2006, Using Conceptests to Assess and Improve Student Conceptual Understanding in Introductory Courses, Journal of Geoscience Education, (54(1), 61-68.