Supported Site University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Assessment

PHYS 104: General Physics (mechanics and thermodynamics); algebra-based, mostly pre-meds
Assessment used: Force Concept Inventory (FCI)

Semester Number of
matched
students
Pre-test
average (%)
Post-test average (%) Average
normalized gain g*
Standard
error of g**
Normalized
gain of averages@
104 F07 376 37 49 0.18 0.012 0.19
104 S08 235 39 48 0.12 0.022 0.14
104 F08 344 35 44 0.14 0.012  
104 S09 244 37 50 0.20 0.016  

PHYS 105: General Physics (electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics); algebra-based, mostly pre-meds
Assessment used: Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM)

Semester Number of matched students Pre-test
average (%)
Post-test average (%) Average normalized gain g* Standard error of g** Normalized gain of averages@
105 F07 205 31 39 0.11 0.012 0.11
105 S08 185 31 39 0.11 0.013 0.12
105 F08 183 32 44 0.17 0.015  
105 S09 318 27 32 0.059# 0.0091  

#Initial checks of raw data for this score have not yet revealed a source for this aberrant value.

PHYS 116: Mechanics; calculus-based, mostly physics and other science majors
Assessment used: Force Concept Inventory (FCI)

Semester* Number of matched students** Pre-test
average (%)
Post-test average (%) Average normalized gain g*** Standard error of g**** Normalized gain of averages@
116 F07 140 58 68 0.15 0.067 0.23
116 S08 95 61 73 0.32 0.046 0.30
116 F08 137 56 67 0.25 0.031  
116 S09 132 58 74 0.34 0.039  

PHYS 117: Electromagnetism and Optics; calculus-based, mostly physics and other science majors
Assessment used: Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM)

Semester* Number of matched students** Pre-test
average (%)
Post-test average (%) Average normalized gain g*** Standard error of g**** Normalized gain of averages@
117 F07 89 42 56 0.26 0.029 0.25
117 S08 56 46 56 0.18 0.036 0.18
117 F08 60 38 58 0.33 0.027  
117 S09 100 41 53 0.19 0.023  

In all courses, most faculty are using a mixture of interactive and traditional curriculum. For this reason, the results reported here are the overall results for each course for each semester. In addition to traditional lecture, faculty are using peer instruction (clicker questions) in their courses. Faculty are resistant to change in the way they have taught over the years, thus changes are small. Cooperative Group Problem Solving was used – to some degree – in the recitations for the calculus-based courses. The PHYS 117 S08 faculty member used traditional lecture only.

Based on a Chi-squared analysis, it was believed that the students had not taken the surveys seriously during the 2007-2008 academic year. For this reason, one of a cadre of faculty members went to the beginning of each laboratory section before both the pre-test and the post-test to discuss why the students were taking the surveys. Results of this effort are inconclusive.

@ The normalized gain of the averages is included for F07 and S08 because of the large discrepancy in the PHYS 116 F07 results. Verification of consistency across sections has not been calculated for F08 and S09.

* Use the following formula to calculate the average normalize gain for matched pre- and post-test pairs:

Average normalized gain g =

****Standard error =

RTOP

Level Course description Instructor type and year of graduation (if applicable) Instructor name Observer name Score Date of observation
UG PHYS 116 Post-doc Fred Hall Alice Churukian 26 3/25/09
UG PHYS 117 Faculty Frank Tsui Alice Churukian 55 3/25/09
UG PHYS 117 Faculty Rene Lopez Alice Churukian 52 4/21/09
HS Honors Physics Former TIR David Green Alice Churukian 69 5/12/09
HS Physics Student Teacher, 5/09 Chase Martin Nick Cabot 74 2/4/09
HS Physics Student Teacher, 5/09 Chase Martin Nick Cabot 67 2/26/09
HS Regular
Physics
Student Teacher, 5/09 Chase Martin Nick Cabot 76 3/20/09
HS Physics Student Teacher, 5/09 Chase Martin Nick Cabot Not Scored 4/9/09

† Level indicates whether this is a middle school, high school, or undergraduate course.

‡ Instructor type indicates whether this is a student teacher, a recently graduated PhysTEC teacher, etc.