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PERC 2012 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Innovations and Issues with Conceptual Assessments
Abstract: This symposium is focused on cutting edge research concerning conceptual assessments.  It brings together four developers of concept inventories and the work they are doing probing new areas of interest in the development, use and dissemination of said assessments.
Abstract Type: Poster Symposium

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Rebecca S Lindell
Department of Phyics Purdue University
525 Northwestern Ave
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765-494-2218
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Lin Ding, School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University

Symposium Specific Information

Discussant: Rebecca Lindell, Department of Physics, Purdue University
Moderator: Lin Ding, School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University
Presentation 1 Title: A web-based take-home FCI?
Presentation 1 Authors: Lin Ding, School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University
Rebecca Lindell, Department of Physics, Purdue University
Presentation 1 Abstract: Many physics instructors are interested in using the FCI to evaluate their courses, but are concerned about losing valuable class time in administering it. To meet this need, there are now several web-based versions of the FCI available, which instructors can assign as either in-class or out-of-class assignments. To be able to compare results of the web-based FCI and the original FCI, the equivalency between the two versions must first be established. As a first step in establishing this equivalency, we analyzed a 4000+ student database of one version of the web-based FCI. Students, who completed this version of the FCI, completed it on their own time prior to beginning their first semester of an engineering program at a large Midwestern university. Results of this analysis will be presented.
Presentation 2 Title: Expanding access to assessing conceptual understanding: ciHUB.org, a virtual community supporting conceptual learning
Presentation 2 Authors: P.K. Imbrie, School of Engineering Education, College of Engineering, Purdue University
Teri Reed-Rhoads, School of Engineering Education, College of Engineering, Purdue University
Presentation 2 Abstract: Transforming learning environments for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students requires merging of theories of learning and state-of-the-art assessment tools that allow faculty to identify patterns of conceptual understanding and misconceptions. Conventional measurement/evaluation approaches typically do not help faculty discover the extent to which students have actually acquired conceptual fluency within a particular subject. To this end, STEM disciplines are increasingly using Concept Inventory (CI) assessment to measure the value-added to student learning through new methods of teaching important material.

The paper describes the creation of a virtual community referred to as ciHUB.org, which is a cohesive, borderless community of CI developers, researchers, faculty and students. This national/international collaborative effort was created to support both: a) continued development, refinement, analysis, and application of multiple CI instruments; and b) engagement of the engineering STEM education community in productive conversations about assessing and improving conceptual understanding.
Presentation 3 Title: Cross-Concept Inventory Research Starting with the Force Concept Inventory
Presentation 3 Authors: Teri Reed-Rhoads, School of Engineering Education, College of Engineering, Purdue University
P.K. Imbrie, School of Engineering Education, College of Engineering, Purdue University
Presentation 3 Abstract: In today's globally-engaged and technology-rich educational environments, an online resource where concept inventory (CI) developers and users can access, discuss, develop, and refine concept inventories and their uses is a needed resource.  ciHUB.org meets this need by providing a shared space to researchers and users where inventories can be uploaded and focused discussions can ensue.  Because a wide variety of different CIs can be gathered in this one-stop virtual community, the gathering of data across multiple CIs and longitudinal tracking of student learning is now possible.  Therefore, this type of community facilitates research not just within a specific topic area relative to a specific CI, but it also allows research between CIs.  For example, the Force Concept Inventory might be the correct pre-test to the Concept Assessment Tool for Statics, typically a second-year course in the engineering curriculum.  This type of research could have larger implications as CI development progresses into upper division course content.
Presentation 4 Title: Establishing Reliability and Validity: an Ongoing Process
Presentation 4 Authors: Rebecca Lindell, Department of Physics, Purdue University
Lin Ding, School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University
Presentation 4 Abstract: Establishing validity and reliability is a necessary step in any conceptual assessment instrument.  But once validity and reliability are established, it is not the end of the story.  Reliability and validity are not an inherent property of the assessment instrument or its individual items, but something that must be reestablished with any changes of the instrument items, order, administration techniques or population being studied.   In this paper we will discuss how validity and reliability can be established or reestablished.  We will also discuss common instances in instrument development and use that requires reliability and validity to be reestablished.