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Understanding and Interpreting Calculus Graphs: Refining an Instrument Documents

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Understanding and Interpreting Calculus Graphs: Refining an Instrument 

written by Nadia Perez-Goytia, Angeles Dominguez, and Genaro Zavala

The objective of this ongoing study is to refine an instrument to evaluate conceptual understanding and graphical interpretation of a function and its derivative. The instrument is based on a modified version of the Test of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics (TUG-K) which consists of 26 items (7 dimensions). In the new instrument, Test of Understanding Graphs in Calculus (TUG-C), the kinematics context has been removed from the items creating a new context-free version. To favor the translation from kinematics to Calculus, the focus is on 5 out of the 7 original dimensions of the test, giving a 16-item test. A total of 526 students from a university level Introductory Physics course participated in the study. Half of the students were administered the kinematics test and the other half took the calculus test. This work will present data showing preliminary results of the instrument and new directions on improving the instrument.

Published August 24, 2010
Last Modified November 1, 2010

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