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Criteria1
Unacceptable
2
Acceptable
3
Good/Solid
4
Exemplary
Elements/Terms of the Model Terms in the model are unclear, inappropriate, and/or have significant overlap in use (e.g., change used to mean both “adapt” and “evolve”) Terms included can be identified conceptually, are not clearly differentiated, or are inappropriate Terms included are clear, appropriate, and distinct. Effort was used to include specific scientific terms and/or clear explanations The model correctly uses or identifies examples of many of the following terms: variation, trait, genes, plasticity, fitness, selection, mate choice, population, evolution, environment, generation, behavior 
Distinction between Concepts Little or no distinction can be made between concepts Some concepts are described well Distinctions between most concepts are clear Each concept is distinct and clearly differentiated 
Connections between Concepts Concepts are not at all connected Some concepts are correctly connected, but key connections are lacking Most concepts are correctly connected and/or some key connections are provided Key connections are present and serve as a framework for other ancillary connections 
Concept of Behavioral Traits Model neglects mentioning any of the following: behaviors are traits, have a genetic component, and can be shaped by evolution Model identifies only one of the following: behaviors are traits, have a genetic component, and can be shaped by evolution Model identifies two of the following: behaviors are traits, have a genetic component, and can be shaped by evolution Model identifies that behaviors are traits, have a genetic (and sometimes a plastic) component, and can be shaped by evolution 
Concept of Fitness Model neglects mentioning any of the following: genes and plasticity determine traits, selection acts on traits to produce variation in fitness, some traits are more fit than others Model identifies only one of the following: genes and plasticity determine traits, selection acts on traits to produce variation in fitness, some traits are more fit than others Model identifies two of the following: genes and plasticity determine traits, selection acts on traits to produce variation in fitness, some traits are more fit than others Model identifies that genes and plasticity determine traits, selection acts on traits to produce variation in fitness, and some traits are more fit than others 
Concept of Evolution Model neglects mentioning any of the following: that evolution happens at the population/species level, is a change over generational time, is linked to genetic changes in the population Model identifies only one of the following: that evolution happens at the population or species level, is a change over generational time, is linked to genetic changes in the population Model identifies two of the following: that evolution happens at the population or species level, is a change over generational time, is linked to genetic changes in the population Model identifies that evolution happens at the population or species level, is a change over generational time, and is linked to genetic changes in the population 
Logic of Predictions Based on Models Model is incomplete or its logic, even if flawed, is not clear enough to identify whether predictions follow model Logic is present in the model, but it is incorrect Most logical connections are drawn, but predictions (outcomes) of model are unclear or incomplete Logical connections are drawn, and predictions (outcomes) of model logically follow and are correct 
Scoring: 0–10 = needs improvement 10–15 = workable 16–20 = solid/good 21–24 = exemplary 
Criteria1
Unacceptable
2
Acceptable
3
Good/Solid
4
Exemplary
Elements/Terms of the Model Terms in the model are unclear, inappropriate, and/or have significant overlap in use (e.g., change used to mean both “adapt” and “evolve”) Terms included can be identified conceptually, are not clearly differentiated, or are inappropriate Terms included are clear, appropriate, and distinct. Effort was used to include specific scientific terms and/or clear explanations The model correctly uses or identifies examples of many of the following terms: variation, trait, genes, plasticity, fitness, selection, mate choice, population, evolution, environment, generation, behavior 
Distinction between Concepts Little or no distinction can be made between concepts Some concepts are described well Distinctions between most concepts are clear Each concept is distinct and clearly differentiated 
Connections between Concepts Concepts are not at all connected Some concepts are correctly connected, but key connections are lacking Most concepts are correctly connected and/or some key connections are provided Key connections are present and serve as a framework for other ancillary connections 
Concept of Behavioral Traits Model neglects mentioning any of the following: behaviors are traits, have a genetic component, and can be shaped by evolution Model identifies only one of the following: behaviors are traits, have a genetic component, and can be shaped by evolution Model identifies two of the following: behaviors are traits, have a genetic component, and can be shaped by evolution Model identifies that behaviors are traits, have a genetic (and sometimes a plastic) component, and can be shaped by evolution 
Concept of Fitness Model neglects mentioning any of the following: genes and plasticity determine traits, selection acts on traits to produce variation in fitness, some traits are more fit than others Model identifies only one of the following: genes and plasticity determine traits, selection acts on traits to produce variation in fitness, some traits are more fit than others Model identifies two of the following: genes and plasticity determine traits, selection acts on traits to produce variation in fitness, some traits are more fit than others Model identifies that genes and plasticity determine traits, selection acts on traits to produce variation in fitness, and some traits are more fit than others 
Concept of Evolution Model neglects mentioning any of the following: that evolution happens at the population/species level, is a change over generational time, is linked to genetic changes in the population Model identifies only one of the following: that evolution happens at the population or species level, is a change over generational time, is linked to genetic changes in the population Model identifies two of the following: that evolution happens at the population or species level, is a change over generational time, is linked to genetic changes in the population Model identifies that evolution happens at the population or species level, is a change over generational time, and is linked to genetic changes in the population 
Logic of Predictions Based on Models Model is incomplete or its logic, even if flawed, is not clear enough to identify whether predictions follow model Logic is present in the model, but it is incorrect Most logical connections are drawn, but predictions (outcomes) of model are unclear or incomplete Logical connections are drawn, and predictions (outcomes) of model logically follow and are correct 
Scoring: 0–10 = needs improvement 10–15 = workable 16–20 = solid/good 21–24 = exemplary 
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