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Abstract Title: Transition Analysis: A new method for tracking changes in student understanding using concept inventories
Abstract: Student learning is often characterized using "normalized gain" and "normalized change" physics education research studies. These measures are simple to understand and easy to calculate but may not capture the full story. We have developed a data collection and analysis scheme in which we probe how students change their responses to each individual question from pre-test to post-test rather than simply considering students' overall scores. We collect and digitize student responses using open-source optical mark recognition software (FormScanner). Then we categorize each student's paired responses for each question according to what kind of change, or transition, occurred. We use a set of metrics based on transition frequencies to characterize our results at the whole class, individual student, and individual question level. By using this analysis scheme, we can investigate at a deeper level how students' understanding of physics concepts were changed (or were not changed) by the instruction they received.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A23

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Candice M. Etson
Department of Physics, Wesleyan University
265 Church Street
2nd Floor
Middletown, CT 06459
Phone: 860-685-2034
and Co-Presenter(s)
Julianna Harwood (Department of Physics, Wesleyan University)
Heather Burte (Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab, University of Texas at Arlington)