The Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA) is a 30-item multiple-choice test, designed to evaluate student understanding of basic electricity and magnetism (E&M) concepts at the introductory physics level. While previous studies have demonstrated its face and content validity, no efforts were made to evaluate the construct validity of this assessment. In the present study, we use Rasch modeling to explore whether or not the BEMA items can collectively measure the same ability (trait)-student basic understanding and application of E&M concepts. Results from item reliability, person reliability, person-item map, and item fit of Rasch modeling show that in general BEMA items, albeit covering a broad range of topics, form a unidimensional construct.
Published February 6, 2012
Last Modified April 24, 2012
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