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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Alexandru Maries, Mary Jane Brundage, and Chandralekha Singh
The Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) is a multiple-choice survey that contains a variety of electricity and magnetism concepts from Coulomb's law to Faraday's law at the level of introductory physics used to help inform instructors of student mastery of those concepts. Prior studies suggest that many concepts on the survey are challenging for introductory physics students and the average student scores after traditional instruction are low. The research presented here investigates the progression in student understanding on the CSEM. We compare the performance of students in introductory and advanced level physics courses to understand the evolution of student understanding of concepts covered in the CSEM after traditional lecture-based instruction. We find that on all CSEM questions on which less than 50% of the introductory physics students answered a question correctly after instruction, less than two-thirds of the upper-level undergraduate students provided the correct response after traditional instruction. We also analyzed the CSEM data from graduate students for benchmarking purposes. We discuss the CSEM questions that remain challenging and the common alternative conceptions among upper-level students. The findings presented here at least partly point to the fact that traditional instruction in upper-level courses which typically focuses primarily on quantitative problem solving and incentivizes use of algorithmic approaches is not effective for helping students develop a solid understanding of these concepts. However, it is important for helping students integrate conceptual and quantitative aspects of learning in order to build a robust knowledge structure of basic concepts in electricity and magnetism.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 020114
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
= Instruments
- Research Design & Methodology
= Data
= Evaluation
- Student Characteristics
= Ability
= Skills
Electricity & Magnetism
- General
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Upper Undergraduate
- 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.18.020114
NSF Number:
PHY-1806691
Keywords:
E&M concept inventory, E&M conceptual assessment, Electricity and Magnetism assessment
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created September 28, 2022 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
April 19, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 6, 2022
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AIP Format
A. Maries, M. Brundage, and C. Singh, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18 (2), 020114 (2022), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020114).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Maries, M. Brundage, and C. Singh, Using the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism to investigate progression in student understanding from introductory to advanced levels, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18 (2), 020114 (2022), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020114>.
APA Format
Maries, A., Brundage, M., & Singh, C. (2022, September 6). Using the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism to investigate progression in student understanding from introductory to advanced levels. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 18(2), 020114. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020114
Chicago Format
Maries, A, M. Brundage, and C. Singh. "Using the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism to investigate progression in student understanding from introductory to advanced levels." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18, no. 2, (September 6, 2022): 020114, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020114 (accessed 27 May 2024).
MLA Format
Maries, Alexandru, Mary Jane Brundage, and Chandralekha Singh. "Using the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism to investigate progression in student understanding from introductory to advanced levels." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18.2 (2022): 020114. 27 May 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020114>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Alexandru Maries and Mary Jane Brundage and Chandralekha Singh", Title = {Using the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism to investigate progression in student understanding from introductory to advanced levels}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {18}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020114}, Month = {September}, Year = {2022} }
Refer Export Format

%A Alexandru Maries %A Mary Jane Brundage %A Chandralekha Singh %T Using the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism to investigate progression in student understanding from introductory to advanced levels %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 18 %N 2 %D September 6, 2022 %P 020114 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020114 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Maries, Alexandru %A Brundage, Mary Jane %A Singh, Chandralekha %D September 6, 2022 %T Using the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism to investigate progression in student understanding from introductory to advanced levels %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 18 %N 2 %P 020114 %8 September 6, 2022 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020114


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