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Constructing a Multiple-choice Assessment for Upper-division Quantum Physics from an Open-ended Tool Documents

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Constructing a Multiple-choice Assessment for Upper-division Quantum Physics from an Open-ended Tool 

written by Homeyra R. Sadaghiani, John Miller, Steven J. Pollock, and Daniel Rehn

As part of an ongoing investigation of students' learning in upper-division quantum mechanics, we needed a high-quality conceptual assessment instrument for comparing outcomes of different curricular approaches. The 14 item open-ended Quantum Mechanics Assessment Tool (QMAT) was previously developed for this purpose. However, open-ended tests require complex scoring rubrics, are difficult to score consistently, and demand substantial investment of faculty time to grade. Here, we present the process of converting open-ended questions to multiple-choice (MC) format. We highlight the construction of effective distractors and the use of student interviews to revise and validate questions and distractors. We examine other elements of the process, including results of a preliminary implementation of the MC assessment given at Cal Poly Pomona and CU Boulder. This test will likely go through more iterations and further statistical analyses of reliability and validity are pending upon collection of additional.

Published February 1, 2014
Last Modified February 1, 2014

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