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BETTSI - Basic Evolutionary Tree-Thinking Skills Instrument

By Kristin Jenkins1, Louise Mead2, David Baum, Kristy L Daniel3, Carrie Jo Bucklin, Austin Leone, J. Phil Gibson4, Erin Naegle5

1. BioQUEST 2. BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action 3. Texas State University 4. University of Oklahoma 5. Columbia College, Sonora CA

A short, multiple choice diagnostic designed to provide instructors with a quick check on students’ understanding of and ability to read and interpret phylogenies.

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Version 1.0 - published on 08 Jun 2021 doi:10.25334/ZQY1-W289 - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

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Phylogenies are a key and ubiquitous visual representation of the core concept of evolutionary relationships, and the ability to read and interpret phylogenies is one way in which students are able to explore evolutionary concepts. The Basic Evolutionary Tree-Thinking Skills Instrument (BETTSI) provides faculty with a quick check on students’ tree-thinking skills so that instruction may better align with student needs. It has been checked for reliability and validity and provides a convenient formative and summative assessment of students’ ability to read and interpret evolutionary phylogenies.


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