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written by Michele W. McColgan, Rose A. Finn, Darren L. Broder, and George E. Hassel
We present the Electricity and Magnetism Conceptual Assessment (EMCA), a new assessment aligned with second-semester introductory physics courses. Topics covered include electrostatics, electric fields, circuits, magnetism, and induction. We have two motives for writing a new assessment. First, we find other assessments such as the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment and the Conceptual Survey on Electricity and Magnetism not well aligned with the topics and content depth of our courses. We want to test introductory physics content at a level appropriate for our students. Second, we want the assessment to yield scores and gains comparable to the widely used Force Concept Inventory (FCI). After five testing and revision cycles, the assessment was finalized in early 2015 and is available online. We present performance results for a cohort of 225 students at Siena College who were enrolled in our algebra- and calculus-based physics courses during the spring 2015 and 2016 semesters. We provide pretest, post-test, and gain analyses, as well as individual question and whole test statistics to quantify difficulty and reliability. In addition, we compare EMCA and FCI scores and gains, and we find that students' FCI scores are strongly correlated with their performance on the EMCA. Finally, the assessment was piloted in an algebra-based physics course at George Washington University (GWU). We present performance results for a cohort of 130 GWU students and we find that their EMCA scores are comparable to the scores of students in our calculus-based physics course.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
Electricity & Magnetism
- General
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Article
= Research study
PER-Central Types Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Curriculum
- Curriculum / Research Instrument
- Researchers
- Educators
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This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
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Copyright Michele L McColgan et al.
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created August 7, 2018 by Bruce Mason
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August 7, 2018 by Bruce Mason
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October 23, 2017
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AIP Format
M. McColgan, R. Finn, D. Broder, and G. Hassel, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (020121), (2017), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020121).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. McColgan, R. Finn, D. Broder, and G. Hassel, Assessing students’ conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (020121), (2017), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020121>.
APA Format
McColgan, M., Finn, R., Broder, D., & Hassel, G. (2017, October 23). Assessing students’ conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 13(020121). Retrieved December 18, 2018, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020121
Chicago Format
McColgan, M, R. Finn, D. Broder, and G. Hassel. "Assessing students’ conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13, no. 020121, (October 23, 2017), https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020121 (accessed 18 December 2018).
MLA Format
McColgan, Michele W., Rose A. Finn, Darren L. Broder, and George E. Hassel. "Assessing students’ conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13.020121 (2017). 18 Dec. 2018 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020121>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Michele W. McColgan and Rose A. Finn and Darren L. Broder and George E. Hassel", Title = {Assessing students’ conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {13}, Number = {020121}, Month = {October}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Michele W. McColgan
%A Rose A. Finn
%A Darren L. Broder
%A George E. Hassel
%T Assessing students' conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 13
%N 020121
%D October 23, 2017
%U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020121
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A McColgan, Michele W.
%A Finn, Rose A.
%A Broder, Darren L.
%A Hassel, George E.
%D October 23, 2017
%T Assessing students' conceptual knowledge of electricity and magnetism
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 13
%N 020121
%8 October 23, 2017
%U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020121


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