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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Stefan Kuchemann, Sarah Malone, Peter Edelsbrunner, Andreas Lichtenberger, Elsbeth Stern, Ralph Schumacher, Roland Brünken, Andreas Vaterlaus, and Jochen Kuhn
Representational competence is essential for the acquisition of conceptual understanding in physics. It enables the interpretation of diagrams, graphs, and mathematical equations, and relating these to one another as well as to observations and experimental outcomes. In this study, we present the initial validation of a newly developed cross-contextual assessment of students' competence in representing vector-field plots and field lines, the most common visualization of the concept of vector fields. The Representational Competence of Fields Inventory (RCFI) consists of ten single choice items and two items that each contain three true or false questions. The tool can be easily implemented within an online assessment. It assesses the understanding of the conventions of interpreting field lines and vector-field plots, as well as the translation between these. The intended use of the tool is both to scale students' representational competences in respect to representations of vector fields and to reveal related misconceptions. The tool was administered at three German-speaking universities in Switzerland and Germany to a total of 515 first- and third-semester students from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects. In these first steps of the validation of the RCFI, we evaluated its psychometric quality via classical test theory in combination with Rasch scaling and examined its construct validity by conducting student interviews. The RCFI exhibits a good internal consistency of ?=0.86. The RCFI revealed misunderstandings and shortcomings, such as the confusion of the conventions for representing field lines and vector-field plots. We report on specific erroneous student conceptions and discuss future adaptations of the RCFI.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 17, Issue 2, Pages 020126
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Instruments
- Problem Solving
= Representational Use
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Scientific Reasoning
Mathematical Tools
- Vector Calculus
- Lower Undergraduate
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Educators
- Administrators
- Researchers
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This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020126
Keywords:
RCFI, calculus, concept inventory, representational competency, representational skill building, vector calculus
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 10, 2021 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 25, 2022 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 1, 2021
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AIP Format
S. Kuchemann, S. Malone, P. Edelsbrunner, A. Lichtenberger, E. Stern, R. Schumacher, R. Brünken, A. Vaterlaus, and J. Kuhn, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17 (2), 020126 (2021), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020126).
AJP/PRST-PER
S. Kuchemann, S. Malone, P. Edelsbrunner, A. Lichtenberger, E. Stern, R. Schumacher, R. Brünken, A. Vaterlaus, and J. Kuhn, Inventory for the assessment of representational competence of vector fields, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17 (2), 020126 (2021), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020126>.
APA Format
Kuchemann, S., Malone, S., Edelsbrunner, P., Lichtenberger, A., Stern, E., Schumacher, R., Brünken, R., Vaterlaus, A., & Kuhn, J. (2021, October 1). Inventory for the assessment of representational competence of vector fields. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 17(2), 020126. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020126
Chicago Format
Kuchemann, S, S. Malone, P. Edelsbrunner, A. Lichtenberger, E. Stern, R. Schumacher, R. Brünken, A. Vaterlaus, and J. Kuhn. "Inventory for the assessment of representational competence of vector fields." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17, no. 2, (October 1, 2021): 020126, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020126 (accessed 12 June 2024).
MLA Format
Kuchemann, Stefan, Sarah Malone, Peter Edelsbrunner, Andreas Lichtenberger, Elsbeth Stern, Ralph Schumacher, Roland Brünken, Andreas Vaterlaus, and Jochen Kuhn. "Inventory for the assessment of representational competence of vector fields." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17.2 (2021): 020126. 12 June 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020126>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Stefan Kuchemann and Sarah Malone and Peter Edelsbrunner and Andreas Lichtenberger and Elsbeth Stern and Ralph Schumacher and Roland Brünken and Andreas Vaterlaus and Jochen Kuhn", Title = {Inventory for the assessment of representational competence of vector fields}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {17}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020126}, Month = {October}, Year = {2021} }
Refer Export Format

%A Stefan Kuchemann %A Sarah Malone %A Peter Edelsbrunner %A Andreas Lichtenberger %A Elsbeth Stern %A Ralph Schumacher %A Roland Brünken %A Andreas Vaterlaus %A Jochen Kuhn %T Inventory for the assessment of representational competence of vector fields %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 17 %N 2 %D October 1, 2021 %P 020126 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020126 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Kuchemann, Stefan %A Malone, Sarah %A Edelsbrunner, Peter %A Lichtenberger, Andreas %A Stern, Elsbeth %A Schumacher, Ralph %A Brünken, Roland %A Vaterlaus, Andreas %A Kuhn, Jochen %D October 1, 2021 %T Inventory for the assessment of representational competence of vector fields %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 17 %N 2 %P 020126 %8 October 1, 2021 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.020126


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