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Abstract Title: The New Advanced Placement Physics Exams: PER-Based National Assessment
Abstract: In fall 2014, the algebra-based AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 replaced the AP Physics B curriculum, with the first exams in the new courses administered in May 2015. Many hundreds of person-hours by teams of experts drawn from physics education research, state-level curriculum planners, college faculty, and high school faculty have gone into developing learning objectives, a curriculum framework and crafting exams and their grading rubrics.

The influence that PER-inspired questions on high-stakes assessments are having on high school AP physics learning is promising. Teachers and students are developing students' wonderful ideas in ways that had not been previously possible in the AP Physics B course.

This session will bring together a veteran AP teacher and exam developer, along with Physics Education Researchers who are AP exam question and test developers and the Chief Reader - who is in charge of coordinating the scoring of over half a million open-ended questions for the AP 1 and 2 exams each year.

We will discuss changes in emphasis inspired by PER. We will give examples of the difference in the style of the questions found on the new AP exams, and early results of student performance on some of the novel free response questions (laboratory design, qualitative/quantitative transfer and paragraph length response). We will discuss the constraints and affordances of designing tests that are administered on a national scale, and that are hand scored by professional teachers. We will close with a discussion of the role that the PER community can have in enriching instructional practices at the high school level through engagement with the AP community.
Abstract Type: Workshop
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster I
Room: Meeting Room 3

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: S. Kanim
New Mexico State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Moderator/Discussant: S. Kanim
Presenters: S. Brahmia, A. Elby, M. Sckalor, S. Willoughby