Testing Conceptual Understanding in Physics Using a Browser-based Computer Managed System

Alexander Mazzolini

Abstract


Testing Conceptual Understanding in Physics (TCUP) is a CUTSD-funded project which aims to monitor the conceptual understanding of first-year university Physics students. It is designed not as an educational research tool but rather to provide timely feedback on student conceptual understanding. This feedback is available both to students and their instructors. The TCUP tests will help promote more effective teaching, and also help to evaluate the effectiveness of physics courses in teaching basic physics concepts. To promote effective learning, individual students will receive formative feedback regarding their level of conceptual understanding in each key area of their introductory physics course.

Each test (which is not intended to count towards summative assessment) is administered via an easy to operate browser-based computer managed testing system. The system, which is fully automated, also provides statistical information to the instructor regarding the performance of the class.

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