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Development of a Mechanics Reasoning Inventory Documents

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Development of a Mechanics Reasoning Inventory 

written by Andrew Pawl, Analia Barrantes, Caroline N. Cardamone, Saif Rayyan, and David E. Pritchard

Strategic knowledge is required to appropriately organize procedures and concepts to solve problems. We are developing a standardized instrument assessing strategic knowledge in the domain of introductory mechanics. This instrument is inspired in part by Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning and Van Domelen's Problem Decomposition Diagnostic. The predictive validity of the instrument has been suggested by preliminary studies showing significant correlation with performance on final exams administered in introductory mechanics courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Georgia Institute of Technology. In order to study the validity of the content from the student's perspective, we have administered the instrument in free-response format to 40 students enrolled in calculus-based introductory mechanics at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. This procedure has the additional advantage of improving the construct validity of the inventory, since student responses suggest effective distractors for the multiple-choice form of the inventory.

Published February 6, 2012
Last Modified April 25, 2012

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