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Measuring Student Effort and Engagement in an Introductory Physics Course Documents

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Measuring Student Effort and Engagement in an Introductory Physics Course 

written by Scott W. Bonham

Multiple scales reflecting student effort were developed using factor and scale analysis on data from an introductory physics course. This data included interactions with an on-line homework system. One of the scales displays many characteristics of a metric of the individual level of engagement in the course. This scale is shown to be a good predictor of performance on class exams and the Force Concept Inventory (FCI). Furthermore, normalized learning gains on the FCI are well predicted by this scale while pre-instructional FCI scores provide no additional predictive ability, agreeing with observations by Richard Hake. This scale also correlates strongly with epistemological beliefs that learning is related to effort and is the responsibility of the student. The factors that enter into this scale, writing and mastering expert-like problem-solving, are consistent with this being a measure of individual levels of class engagement.

Published November 12, 2007
Last Modified December 1, 2010

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