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PERC 2011 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Time-dependent Interpretation of Correct Responses to Multiple-Choice Questions
Abstract: Students' reasoning regarding electric field concepts was analyzed by pre- and post-instruction responses to two related questions on the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism; both multiple-choice responses and written explanations were examined. Although nearly half of all students gave correct pre-instruction responses on one of the questions, their written explanations made it clear that many either based their correct answers on vague or inconsistent "intuitive" thinking, or they simply guessed. These explanations, along with inconsistent responses on the related question, showed that most correct pretest answers on this item were not genuinely indicative of conceptual understanding. By contrast, most correct post-instruction responses to the same question were accompanied by acceptable explanations, as well as by matching correct responses on the related item. Thus the same (correct) response on a particular multiple-choice question had dramatically different interpretations regarding students' thinking depending on whether it had been given pre- or post-instruction.
Abstract Type: Gallery Session Poster
Poster Gallery Session: Multiple Assessments of Multiple-choice Assessments

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: David E. Meltzer
Arizona State University