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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by John Stewart, Byron Drury, James E. Wells, Aaron Adair, Rachel Henderson, Yunfei Ma, Ángel Pérez-Lemonche, and David E. Pritchard
This study reports an analysis of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) using item response curves (IRC)--the fraction of students selecting each response to an item as a function of their total score. Three large samples (N=9606, 4360, and 1439) of calculus-based physics students were analyzed. These were drawn from three land-grant institutions with very different average FCI post-test scores. A significant number of the response curves for incorrect responses have a maximum at some intermediate value of the total score on the FCI. To analyze the incorrect responses (rather than just the correct response as is typically done), we used Bock's nominal response model (NRM), primarily because it can fit these intermediate maximum curves. The one-dimensional NRM latent ability dimension was strongly correlated (r=0.99) with the latent ability determined by two-parameter logistic (2PL) item response theory applied with correct or incorrect grading even though the correct responses were not identified for the NRM. To understand the relation of Newtonian and non-Newtonian thinking, higher dimensional models were fit. The two-dimensional NRM model produced one ability dimension which could be rotated to be highly correlated with the 2PL latent ability (r?0.98) and a second dimension which was most strongly related to misconceptions involving Newton's third law. Cluster analysis was applied to the two latent ability dimensions producing a three-cluster solution where the cluster centroids were very similar for each of the three institutions. The clusters represented three groups of students: Newtonian thinkers still retaining some misconceptions, non-Newtonian thinkers strongly applying Newton's third law misconceptions, and non-Newtonian thinkers weakly applying those misconceptions. The differences between overall FCI scores at the three institutions could be explained by the relative populations of the three clusters.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 010122
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Alternative Conceptions
- Research Design & Methodology
= Data
= Statistics
= Validity
- Sample Population
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010122
NSF Number:
PHY-0108787
Keywords:
FCI, FCI validity, cluster analysis, item response theory, misconception analysis
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created May 12, 2021 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
March 25, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 29, 2021
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AIP Format
J. Stewart, B. Drury, J. Wells, A. Adair, R. Henderson, Y. Ma, Á. Pérez-Lemonche, and D. Pritchard, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17 (1), 010122 (2021), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010122).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Stewart, B. Drury, J. Wells, A. Adair, R. Henderson, Y. Ma, Á. Pérez-Lemonche, and D. Pritchard, Examining the relation of correct knowledge and misconceptions using the nominal response model, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17 (1), 010122 (2021), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010122>.
APA Format
Stewart, J., Drury, B., Wells, J., Adair, A., Henderson, R., Ma, Y., Pérez-Lemonche, Á., & Pritchard, D. (2021, March 29). Examining the relation of correct knowledge and misconceptions using the nominal response model. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 17(1), 010122. Retrieved June 7, 2023, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010122
Chicago Format
Stewart, J, B. Drury, J. Wells, A. Adair, R. Henderson, Y. Ma, Á. Pérez-Lemonche, and D. Pritchard. "Examining the relation of correct knowledge and misconceptions using the nominal response model." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17, no. 1, (March 29, 2021): 010122, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010122 (accessed 7 June 2023).
MLA Format
Stewart, John, Byron Drury, James E. Wells, Aaron Adair, Rachel Henderson, Yunfei Ma, Ángel Pérez-Lemonche, and David E. Pritchard. "Examining the relation of correct knowledge and misconceptions using the nominal response model." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17.1 (2021): 010122. 7 June 2023 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010122>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "John Stewart and Byron Drury and James E. Wells and Aaron Adair and Rachel Henderson and Yunfei Ma and Ángel Pérez-Lemonche and David E. Pritchard", Title = {Examining the relation of correct knowledge and misconceptions using the nominal response model}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {17}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010122}, Month = {March}, Year = {2021} }
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%A John Stewart %A Byron Drury %A James E. Wells %A Aaron Adair %A Rachel Henderson %A Yunfei Ma %A Ángel Pérez-Lemonche %A David E. Pritchard %T Examining the relation of correct knowledge and misconceptions using the nominal response model %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 17 %N 1 %D March 29, 2021 %P 010122 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010122 %O application/pdf

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%0 Journal Article %A Stewart, John %A Drury, Byron %A Wells, James E. %A Adair, Aaron %A Henderson, Rachel %A Ma, Yunfei %A Pérez-Lemonche, Ángel %A Pritchard, David E. %D March 29, 2021 %T Examining the relation of correct knowledge and misconceptions using the nominal response model %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 17 %N 1 %P 010122 %8 March 29, 2021 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010122


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