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Physical Review Physics Education Research

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written by Colin S. Wallace, Tim Chambers, and Edward E. Prather
[This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Astronomy Education Research.] This paper presents the first item response theory (IRT) analysis of the national data set on introductory, general education, college-level astronomy teaching using the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI). We used the difference between students' pre- and postinstruction IRT-estimated abilities as a measure of learning gain. This analysis provides deeper insights than prior publications both into the LSCI as an instrument and into the effectiveness of teaching and learning in introductory astronomy courses. Our IRT analysis supports the classical test theory findings of prior studies using the LSCI with this population. In particular, we found that students in classes that used active learning strategies at least 25% of the time had average IRT-estimated learning gains that were approximately 1 logit larger than students in classes that spent less time on active learning strategies. We also found that instructors who want their classes to achieve an improvement in abilities of average Δ ∅ = 1 logit must spend at least 25% of class time on active learning strategies. However, our analysis also powerfully illustrates the lack of insight into student learning that is revealed by looking at a single measure of learning gain, such as average Δ ∅. Educators and researchers should also examine the distributions of students' abilities pre- and postinstruction in order to understand how many students actually achieved an improvement in their abilities and whether or not a majority of students have moved to postabilities significantly greater than the national average.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 010149
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Astronomy
- Astronomy Education
= Education Research
Education Foundations
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
- Research Design & Methodology
= Data
= Validity
- Sample Population
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010149
NSF Number:
CCLI-1715517
Keywords:
LSCI validity, astronomy conceptual survey
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 31, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
June 8, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
June 15, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
C. Wallace, T. Chambers, and E. Prather, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 14 (1), 010149 (2018), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010149).
AJP/PRST-PER
C. Wallace, T. Chambers, and E. Prather, Item response theory evaluation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory national data set, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 14 (1), 010149 (2018), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010149>.
APA Format
Wallace, C., Chambers, T., & Prather, E. (2018, June 15). Item response theory evaluation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory national data set. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 14(1), 010149. Retrieved May 24, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010149
Chicago Format
Wallace, C, T. Chambers, and E. Prather. "Item response theory evaluation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory national data set." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 14, no. 1, (June 15, 2018): 010149, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010149 (accessed 24 May 2024).
MLA Format
Wallace, Colin, Tim Chambers, and Edward Prather. "Item response theory evaluation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory national data set." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 14.1 (2018): 010149. 24 May 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010149>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Colin Wallace and Tim Chambers and Edward Prather", Title = {Item response theory evaluation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory national data set}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {14}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010149}, Month = {June}, Year = {2018} }
Refer Export Format

%A Colin Wallace %A Tim Chambers %A Edward Prather %T Item response theory evaluation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory national data set %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 14 %N 1 %D June 15, 2018 %P 010149 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010149 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Wallace, Colin %A Chambers, Tim %A Prather, Edward %D June 15, 2018 %T Item response theory evaluation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory national data set %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 14 %N 1 %P 010149 %8 June 15, 2018 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010149


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