Skip to main content


Table 3 Coding and scoring scheme used in the study

From: Is the undergraduate microbiology curriculum preparing students for careers in their field?: an assessment of biology majors’ conceptions of growth and control of microorganisms

Coding scheme Scoring scheme
Question Category Sub-category Score awarded
Suggesting a method for sterilizing:
(a) A solution of vitamins
(b) Contaminated hospital linen
(c) Petri dishes and giving a reason for the method used
(maximum score = 3)
Correct (C) (a) Correctly identified filtration as the suitable sterilization technique citing the property of vitamins to get denatured upon exposure to heat as the reason for choosing this method. 1
(b) Correctly identified autoclaving as the suitable sterilization technique and considered the bulk of the material to be sterilized. 1
(c) Correctly identified autoclaving or hot air oven as the suitable sterilization technique citing that high temperature would lead to denaturation of the proteins of microorganisms resulting in their death. 1
Partially correct (PC) Either one of the correct method or a relevant consideration in choosing a method identified 0.5 each for (a), (b), and (c)
Incorrect (IC) Incorrect method 0
Incorrect method, reason correct 0
Incorrect reason, method correct 0
Unrelated 0
Not attempted (NA) 0
Mathematical problem
(maximum score = 2)
Correct (C) Identified exponential growth of the organism and calculated the number of cells correctly 2
Partially correct (PC) Exponential growth of E.coli identified correctly but arithmetical errors made 0.5
Incorrect (IC) Microbial growth considered to be linear 0
Unrelated (U) Random calculation with use of unjustifiable and unexplained numbers 0
Not attempted (NA) 0
Doctor’s procedure
(maximum score = 3)
Correct (C) Burns patient is at a higher risk of infection + technique not sufficient + method of sterilization suggested 1 + 1 + 1
Partially correct (PC) Any 1 of the above points mentioned 1
Burn patient is at a high risk of infection + technique not sufficient 1 + 1
Burn patient is at a high risk of infection + sterilization needs to be done 1 + 1
Technique used by doctor is not sufficient + sterilization needed 1 + 1
Incorrect (IC) Doctor followed the correct procedure 0
Unrelated (U) Random answers unrelated to the question 0
Not attempted (NA) 0