Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess students' knowledge of science and the scientific method, as well as their
reasoning skills and success in first year Science courses. Specifically, we are interested in the range of skill levels of and
knowledge that first year students bring to UBCO and how variation in this knowledge, gained in prior educational institutions,
affects the students' ability to succeed in first year Science courses.

Study Procedures: To participate in this study, you must not yet have completed a first year University science course. You may
currently be enrolled in one or more science courses.

As a volunteer participant in Phase I of this study, you will be asked to complete a series of online questionnaires in a single
research session. These questionnaires will access your grasp of basic scientific reasoning and your ability to recognize informal
logical fallacies. To help us know more about our research sample (e.g., the average age, number of males/females, country of
birth, etc.), you will also be asked to provide some information about your personal demographics and educational background. . It
will take you about an hour to complete these questionnaires. Although we ask that you try to answer all questions, if there are
any questions that you do not feel comfortable answering, you are free to leave those questions blank.

The first phase (i.e., this one) is being conducted throughout 2009-2010 academic year.

In Phase II of this research project we would like to track your academic achievement during your current year at UBCO.
Specifically, we are interested in knowing how many classes you complete, how many (if any) courses you withdraw from, and
your grade point average (GPA) for your first and second semesters. Secondly, we would like to know the grades of the high
school science courses ( if any) that were reviewed when you applied for admission to UBCO. This information will help us to better
understand the relationship between your university performance and your understanding of scientific reasoning. If you agree,
during Phase I we will ask you to complete an Access to Grades Permission Form and provide us with your UBCO student so that
we may obtain information about your academic performance. If you wish your grades to remain private (i.e., no one from this
study should see them) then you should indicate this on the Access to Grades Permission Form and you will be excluded from
Phase II of the study.

You will not receive any financial compensation for your participation. If you are registered in an eligible psychology course, and
you volunteered through SONA you may receive 1 mark in the associated class.

You should also know that none of the researchers conducting this study are involved in any related conflicts of interest.

Confidentiality: Your participation and all information you provide will be kept confidential. However, the information that you
provide will not be anonymous. That is, the researchers will know who provided what information. Each questionnaire will be coded
in order to link the answers from each participant. Only you and the researchers will know this code. Information from your
participation in this on-line session will be transferred to password-protected computer files. Only the principal and
co-investigators will have access to these computerized files.

Please be aware that we will not identify you, or connect your name with your responses, to anyone not directly involved in the
project. Moreover, in all publications and presentations of the research findings, no information that would allow someone to
identify specific participants will be released. In addition, your individual responses will not be released.

It is also important for you to know that "Survey Monkey", a web-survey company that is located in the USA, is the host of this
on-line research. This company is subject to U.S. laws; in particular, the US Patriot Act that allows authorities access to the
records of internet service providers. Survey Monkey's servers record incoming IP addresses - including that of the computer that
you use to access the survey. However, no connection is made between your data and your computer's IP address. If you choose
to participate in the survey, you understand that your responses to the survey questions will be stored and accessed in the USA.
The security and privacy policy for the Survey Monkey can be found at the following link:

Risk and Benefits of Participating in this Study: There are no known risks or direct, personal benefits associated with participating
in this study.

Contact for information about the study: If you have any further questions about the study you may contact Blythe Nilson at
250-807-9555 or by email at or Linda Allan at 250-807-8729 or by email at

Contact for the concerns of research participants: If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment or rights as a
research participant, you may contact the Research Subject Information line in the UBC Okanagan Office of Research Services at

Consent: Your participation in this study is strictly voluntary. At any time during the study, you are free to stop your participation
without penalty by clicking on the "exit this survey" button. If you wish to stop your participation after you have submitted the
questionnaires, you may email Blythe Nilson ( or Linda Allan ( and indicate that you would
like to withdraw from the First Year Here study. All data that belongs to you will then be destroyed.

Please print a copy of this consent form for your records by clicking on the "print" button.

If you agree to participate, please click on the Survey Monkey icon to begin the study session. This will indicate that you have
read and understood the above information and have consented to participate in this study. If you do not wish to participate,
please exit the website.

Information Letter and Consent Form

Principal Investigator: Blythe Nilson, Associate Professor of Biology,
Co-investigators: Linda Allan, Associate Professor of Psychology, UBCO, and
Jim Johnson, Associate Professor of Economics, UBCO.