Physics

assessment tools:

Electricity and Magnetism I: Colorado Upper Division Electrostatics (CUE) Asssessment.

We have developed a conceptual assessment for E&M I which consists of a 17-item open-ended test with optional 9-item pretest. The test has good inter-rater reliability and has been validated using multiple measures. The assessment tests student understanding of core learning goals in the course, and allows us to probe common student ideas in upper-division E&M. We have published two papers on the CUE: One on the preliminary validation and results, and another on common student ideas illuminated by the CUE. To receive a copy of the CUE to use in your course, contact Steven Pollock at steven.pollock@colorado.edu. If you would like to just preview the test, you may do so here.

Electricity and Magnetism II: Colorado UppeR-division ElectrodyNamics Test (CURrENT)

The CURrENT is a free-response assessment designed to gauge student understanding of fundamental concepts, and whether they can complete basic tasks from advanced electrodynamics. The questions were written to reflect the learning goals expressed by experienced physics faculty, and the topics are limited to core material likely to be taught at most institutions. The assessment has been given several times at CU and elsewhere, but is still undergoing refinement and validation. We are actively seeking instructors who would be willing to administer the CURrENT in their own courses (whether they are using our transformed materials or not). For more information, contact Steven Pollock at steven.pollock@colorado.edu.

Classical Mechanics I: Colorado Classical Mechanics/Math Methods Instrument (CCMI)

We have developed a conceptual assessment for Classical Mechanics I which consists of a 11-item open-ended test with an optional 3-item pretest. The reliability and validity of the test are still under investigation, but we are nearing a final version. We are looking for partners to give the test to their students and to provide feedback on the test itself. To receive a copy of the CCMI to use in your course, contact Steven Pollock at steven.pollock@colorado.edu.
If you would like to just preview the test, you may do so here.

Quantum Mechanics I: Quantum Mechanics Assessment Tool (QMAT)

We have developed a conceptual assessment tool for Quantum I which we use as a post test. The assessment was developed with three goals in mind: reflect faculty learning goals, provide an assessment of student learning difficulties, and act as a tool to help guide faculty efforts at improving QM instruction. We have published a paper on the development of and initial results from the QMAT. To receive a copy of the QMAT to use in your course, contact Steven Pollock at steven.pollock@colorado.edu.

Advanced Lab: Colorado Learning about Science Survey for Experimental Physics (ECLASS)

The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Experimental Physics (E-CLASS) was developed as a broadly applicable assessment tool for undergraduate physics lab courses. At the beginning and end of the semester, the E-CLASS assesses students views about their strategies, habits of mind, and attitudes when doing experiments in lab classes. Students also reflect on how those same strategies, habits of mind, and attitudes are practiced by professional researchers. Finally, at the end of the semester, students reflect on how their own course valued those practices in terms of earning a good grade. In response to frequent calls to transform laboratory curricula to more closely align it with the skills and abilities needed for professional research, the E-CLASS is a tool to assess students' perceptions of the gap between classroom laboratory instruction and professional research. To access the ECLASS click here.