Texas State University: Assessment
We pre- and post-test all sections of calculus-based Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism using the FCI and the CSEM, respectively; we also track the DFW rate (the percentage of students who earn a grade of D or F, or withdraw from the course) in Mechanics. Project personnel calculate normalized gains for the concept inventories, and track these gains over time.
Low FCI gains in 2010-2011 were instrumental in leading the department to implement a Learning Assistant program in all sections of all courses of introductory calculus-based physics, with use of Tutorials in Introductory Physics in all three courses in the introductory sequence. Since LA implementation in Mechanics, FCI gains have gone up and DFW rates have gone down.
Course instructors must administer the pretest and posttest and share student scores with project/department personnel. The assessments are available through www.physport.org; they can also be administered online using the LASSO tool (https://sites.google.com/a/colorado.edu/la-resources/research/learning-gains-study).