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written by M. R. Semak, R. D. Dietz, R. H. Pearson, and C. W. Willis
The application of factor analysis to the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) has proven to be problematic. Some studies have suggested that factor analysis of test results serves as a helpful tool in assessing the recognition of Newtonian concepts by students. Other work has produced at best ambiguous results. For the FCI administered as a pre- and post-test, we see factor analysis as a tool by which the changes in conceptual associations made by our students may be gauged given the evolution of their response patterns. This analysis allows us to identify and track conceptual linkages, affording us insight as to how our students have matured due to instruction. We report on our analysis of 427 pre- and post-tests. The factor models for the pre- and post-tests are explored and compared along with the methodology by which these models were fit to the data. The post-test factor pattern is more aligned with an expert's interpretation of the questions' content, as it allows for a more readily identifiable relationship between factors and physical concepts. We discuss this evolution in the context of approaching the characteristics of an expert with force concepts. Also, we find that certain test items do not significantly contribute to the pre- or post-test factor models and attempt explanations as to why this is so. This may suggest that such questions may not be effective in probing the conceptual understanding of our students.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 010103
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Education - Basic Research
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= Methods
- Research Design & Methodology
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This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010103
Keywords:
FCI, Factor Analysis, Force Concept Inventory
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created June 4, 2017 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
September 21, 2017 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 10, 2017
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AIP Format
M. Semak, R. Dietz, R. Pearson, and C. Willis, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (1), 010103 (2017), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010103).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. Semak, R. Dietz, R. Pearson, and C. Willis, Examining evolving performance on the Force Concept Inventory using factor analysis, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (1), 010103 (2017), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010103>.
APA Format
Semak, M., Dietz, R., Pearson, R., & Willis, C. (2017, January 10). Examining evolving performance on the Force Concept Inventory using factor analysis. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 13(1), 010103. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010103
Chicago Format
Semak, M, R. Dietz, R. Pearson, and C. Willis. "Examining evolving performance on the Force Concept Inventory using factor analysis." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13, no. 1, (January 10, 2017): 010103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010103 (accessed 12 December 2017).
MLA Format
Semak, M. R., R. D. Dietz, R. H. Pearson, and C. W. Willis. "Examining evolving performance on the Force Concept Inventory using factor analysis." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13.1 (2017): 010103. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010103>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "M. R. Semak and R. D. Dietz and R. H. Pearson and C. W. Willis", Title = {Examining evolving performance on the Force Concept Inventory using factor analysis}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {13}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010103}, Month = {January}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A M. R. Semak
%A R. D. Dietz
%A R. H. Pearson
%A C. W. Willis
%T Examining evolving performance on the Force Concept Inventory using factor analysis
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 13
%N 1
%D January 10, 2017
%P 010103
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010103
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Semak, M. R.
%A Dietz, R. D.
%A Pearson, R. H.
%A Willis, C. W.
%D January 10, 2017
%T Examining evolving performance on the Force Concept Inventory using factor analysis
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 13
%N 1
%P 010103
%8 January 10, 2017
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010103


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