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Abstract Title: Assessment to Complement Research-based Instruction in Upper-division Courses
Abstract: Traditional upper-division physics courses tend to focus on summative assessment through quantitative and symbolic problem-solving examination questions.  Reforming instruction suggests the need for  assessment that matches the instructional strategies.  In this poster, we describe assessment strategies implemented in two physics core courses, primarily in a thermal physics course but also in a course in mathematical methods.  Strategies include frequent formative assessment in the form of written ungraded quizzes as well as the inclusion of qualitative written problems on graded quizzes and exams.  Examples of assessment items and student responses will be shown.  In particular, we will show evidence that students at this level respond more positively to 'pretests' than one might expect, suggesting more expert-like epistemological expectations than is often the case in the introductory course.

Supported in part by NSF grant DUE-0817335.
Abstract Type: Gallery Session Poster
Poster Gallery Session: Formative and Summative Assessment in Upper-level Physics

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Michael Loverude
Department of Physics, California State University Fullerton