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ERIC Number: EJ1249331
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2469-9896
Testing Students Ability to Use Derivatives, Integrals, and Vectors in a Purely Mathematical Context and in a Physical Context
Carli, Marta; Lippiello, Stefania; Pantano, Ornella; Perona, Mario; Tormen, Giuseppe
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v16 n1 Article 010111 Jan-Jun 2020
In this article, we discuss the development and the administration of a multiple-choice test, which we named "Test of Calculus and Vectors in Mathematics and Physics" (TCV-MP), aimed at comparing students' ability to answer questions on derivatives, integrals, and vectors in a purely mathematical context and in the context of physics. The comparison between the two contexts was achieved by using parallel (isomorphic) questions in mathematics and physics. The final version of the test contains 34 items (17 in a purely mathematical context and 17 in the context of physics) involving different representations (graphs, words, numbers, and formal expressions) of the concepts covered by the test. The test was administered in Spring 2018 to 1252 first-year students enrolled in 23 different degree programs of the School of Science and the School of Engineering of the University of Padua. We assessed the validity, reliability, and discriminatory power of the test both as a whole and at the single-item level, obtaining values within the desired ranges. The analysis of students' answers to individual items and the comparison between parallel mathematics and physics items provides insights into the factors that affect students' ability to use derivatives, integrals, and vectors in the context of introductory physics. We believe that the instrument we have developed can be useful not only for research purposes, but also for instructors and for students.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A