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Abstract Title: Testing students’ understanding of vector concepts
Abstract: After four years of research we designed a 20-item multiple choice vector concept test (Test of Understanding of Vectors, TUV). In this article we analyze: 1) the reliability and discriminatory power of the test, and 2) students' understanding of the vector concepts evaluated in the test. The final version of the test was administered to 423 students who were finishing an Electricity and Magnetism course at a large private Mexican university. In the first part of the article, we show results indicating that the TUV is a reliable assessment tool. In the second part, we examine students' overall performance in the test and analyze the results of the seven most difficult items for the students: calculation of the direction of a vector, graphic representation of unit vector, graphical subtraction of vectors in 2D, geometric interpretation and calculation of dot product, and interpretation and magnitude's calculation of cross product.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Pablo Barniol
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey
E. Garza Sada 2501
Monterrey, Non U.S. 64849
and Co-Presenter(s)
Genaro Zavala (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey)