red Supported Site University of Arkansas: Assessment

Here we present a brief summary of the assessment statistics for the calculus-based physics sequence, where most of our future teachers are recruited. Additional evaluation data on these and the other PhysTEC courses can be found under the links in Part II, Section 3, Course Reform.

In all cases, the normalized (Hake) gain g is calculated as the average over the gains for individual students. The gain for each student is the percentage of the improvement it was possible to make that was made:

g= 100 × (Post-test score - Pre-test score)/(total possible - Pre-test score)

In the tables below, N is the number of students that had both a pre- and post-test for calculation of the normalized (Hake) gain.

Calculus-based Introductory Mechanics, FCI(30 possible)
Semester N Pre-test average Post-test average Average normalized gain, g Standard error of g
Fall, 2001 133 11.6 19.1 42.5 27.3
Spring, 2002 105 7.4 19.6 54.0 21.7
Fall, 2002 138 7.8 19.7 53.2 24.5
Spring, 2003 145 12.2 18.9 40.7 25.7
Fall, 2003 179 12.6 19.3 41.1 26.5
Spring, 2004 157 12.7 20.1 43.7 26.9
Fall, 2004 162 11.7 18.9 41.8 26.0
Spring, 2005 196 12.7 24.0 63.6 21.9
Fall, 2005 163 12.8 21.1 46.7 30.2
Spring, 2006 170 10.7 19.5 45.5 19.2
Fall, 2006 186 12.4 21.8 56.0 24.5
Spring, 2007 191 14.0 22.5 56.0 24.0

Materials have been progressively modified to introduce more interactive engagement in the discussion (lecture) sections and to improve the quality of the supporting materials, to ease adoption by non-PhysTEC faculty, or other institutions. (In fall 2005 and spring 2006 the course was taught by a new visiting professor.)

‡David Hestenes, Malcolm Wells, and Gregg Swackhammer, “Force Concept Inventory,” The Physics Teacher, Vol. 30, 147 (1992)

Calculus-based Introductory E&M and optics, CSEM (32 possible)
Semester Spr-2002 is NSF-CCD baseline N Pre-test average Post-test average Average normalized
gain, g
Standard error of g
Spring, 2002 106 9 17 34 19
Fall, 2002 Introduction of the first set of PhysTEC revisions 74 9 19 42 21
Spring, 2003 90 9 18 42 22
Fall, 2003 106 9 19 43 19
Spring, 2004 112 9 20 45 16
Fall, 2004 Major new revision-- added more math and inquiry 94 9 21 50 20
Spring, 2005 129 9 20 49 20
Fall, 2005 100 9 20 48 18
Spring, 2006 126 10 21 52 20
Fall, 2006** New software support 97 5 17 45 18
Spring, 2007 129 10 20 50 22

**Fall 2006 was a particularly weak class, coming in with a statistically significantly lower pretest average. Although their absolute gain in conceptual understanding was as large as for any semester, the lower starting point gave them a lower normalized Hake gain.

†NSF Sponsored Conceptual Survey in Electricity in Magnetism, a product of the Two Year College Physics Workshop Project, ÓTYC Physics Workshop Project (1998). Curtis J. Hieggelke and Thomas O'Kuma, co-directors. http:/www.tycphysics.org. Note how the CSEM scores increased over the duration of the PhysTEC project.