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Abstract Title: Disentangling the Force Concept Inventory Using Latent Class Analysis
Abstract: This study probes the states of knowledge concerning three physics concepts, Newton's Third Law, Newton's Second Law, and the Motion/Force Relationship, as measured by several groups (factors) of FCI items. These knowledge states are not postulated, but rather extracted FCI pre/post instruction records from three universities. For each factor, via patterns of response, students were statistically grouped into "latent classes", subsequently seen to correspond to (groups of) specific student misconceptions. Using Latent Transition Analysis we estimated the (transition) probabilities of students moving, pre/post, between such classes. Transitions in these factors seem uni-directional, towards classes corresponding to fewer misconceptions, indicating gains in understanding at all three universities. However, students in some latent classes are unlikely to learn, and students starting in the bottom classes appear to have virtually no chance of transitioning to the top. These results/methods can aid physics educators by providing detailed assessment of instructional effectiveness.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Ivan Ivanov
Vanier College
821 Ste. Croix
Montreal, Non U.S. H4L 3X9
Phone: 514 744 7400 ext. 7737
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Helena Dedic, Vanier College and CSLP Concordia University
Steve Rosenfield, Vanier College and CSLP Concordia University
Nathaniel Lasry, John Abbott College