I got an idea last week at the Bioscholar Assessment Institute and I finally had time to give it a try. When I was teaching Animal Behavior last year I asked the students the same question on the first and last day: What is Animal Behavior? The plan was to compare their preconceived notions with their final thoughts. My big idea for doing this was to make two word clouds and see if there was a change in the terms and concepts they invoked in their explanations. As you can see, there was an explosion of new definitional elements between the beginning and end. It remains to be seen what I can make of it but they did appear to become somewhat more sophisticated in their understanding of the discipline.
Here is the first day….
…and here is the last.