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ERIC Number: EJ1142881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Transition Matrices: A Tool to Assess Student Learning and Improve Instruction
Morris, Gary A.; Walter, Paul; Skees, Spencer; Schwartz, Samantha
Physics Teacher, v55 n3 p166-169 Mar 2017
This paper introduces a new spreadsheet tool for adoption by high school or college-level physics teachers who use common assessments in a pre-instruction/post-instruction mode to diagnose student learning and teaching effectiveness. The spreadsheet creates a simple matrix that identifies the percentage of students who select each possible pre-/post-test answer combination on each question of the diagnostic exam. Leveraging analysis of the quality of the incorrect answer choices, one can order the answer choices from worst to best (i.e., correct), resulting in "transition matrices" that can provide deeper insight into student learning and the success or failure of the pedagogical approach than traditional analyses that employ dichotomous scoring.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A