Force Concept Inventory
What learning is this evaluation activity designed to assess?
Physics education research has recognized that 1) this prior knowledge and understanding affects students abilities to reason, to acquire knew knowledge in a well-organized structure, and 2) its influence on physics instruction cannot be determined without careful research. As a result, a number of diagnostic tests, based on research on students understandings, have been developed. The purpose of these tests such as the Force Concept Inventory (FCI), attached here, is to help instructors discover and evaluate their students' commonsense beliefs and understandings. Specifically, the Force Concept Inventory (Hestenes,Wells,and Swackhammer,1992)is designed to help instructors discover and evaluate their students' commonsense beliefs in Newtonian physics.
What is the nature of the teaching/learning situation for which your evaluation has been designed?
At CCNY we utilize FCI in introductory Physics courses and Physical Science courses for Science School Teachers both as a testing tool and to stimulate in class discussion among students to induce conceptual change.
The goal of the FCI is to probe and asses the commonsense beliefs students have when studying introductory mechanics. With help of the FCI, instructors can then probe the conceptual knowledge of their students before and after instruction and use it as a diagnostic tool for evaluating and modifying instruction.
What advice would you give others using this evaluation?
Are there particular things about this evaluation that you would like to discuss with the workshop participants? Particular aspects on which you would like feedback?
- Hestenes, D., Wells, M., & Swackhammer, G. (1992). The Physics Teacher, 30, 141-158.
- Halloun and Hestenes. (1985). The Initial Knowledge State of College Physics Students, Am. J. Phys. 53.
- Halloun and Hestenes. (1985). Common Sense Concepts about Motion, Am. J. Phys. 53, 1056-1065.