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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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PST2C21:

Online Pre- and Post-Diagnostic Testing Across Multiple Classes
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 5:15 PM -6:00 PM
  Author: Stephen Irons, Yale University
203-432-3664, stephen.irons@yale.edu
  Co-Author(s): C. Meg Urry
  Abstract: Over the last several years we have instituted diagnostic pre- and post-testing in our three primary introductory physics classes (life sciences, engineering, physics majors). For the fall semester we developed and used a conceptual test that is broader than the standard FCI. This decision was based on our discovery that FCI scores for the tested cohort were quite high, leaving little room to measure improvement. For the spring semester we administered the Conceptual Survey in Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) in its unaltered form. Our data reveal that students as a whole self-select fairly reliably in terms of which introductory course is best for them. In addition, we found teaching methods that involve interactive engagement led to larger normalized gains than using standard instructional techniques. We will also describe our experience in administering these tests in an online form and discuss the possible effect this had on our results.
  Footnotes: None
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