FCI post-test comparison: Cuesta College versus UC-Davis (fall semester 2011)

Students at both Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo, CA) and the University of California at Davis were administered the 30-question Force Concept Inventory (Doug Hestenes, et al.) during the last week of instruction.

Cuesta College
Physics 205A
Fall semester 2011    
Physics 7B
Summer session II 2002
N46 students*76 students*
low  6  3
mean    15.2 ± 6.712.9 ± 5.5

*Excludes students with negative informed consent forms (*.pdf)

Student's t-test of the null hypothesis results in p = 0.041 (t = 2.06, sdev = 5.96, degrees of freedom = 120), thus there is a significant difference between Cuesta College and UC-Davis FCI post-test scores.

The pre- to post-test gain for this semester at Cuesta College is:

Physics 205A fall semester 2011 sections 70854, 7085
<initial%>= 31% ±17% (N = 57)
<final%>= 51% ± 23% (N = 46)
<g>= 0.28 ± 0.29 (matched-pairs); 0.28 (class-wise)

This Hake gain is in line with the previous semesters' results for algebra-based introductory physics at Cuesta College (0.25-0.33), and greater than previous gains for algebra-based introductory physics at UC-Davis (0.16), and for calculus-based introductory physics at Cuesta College (0.14-0.16), as discussed in previous postings on this blog.

Notable about this Physics 205A class at Cuesta College during this fall 2011 semester is the use of flashcards rather than electronic response system "clickers" (Classroom Performance System, einstruction.com), to engage in "think-pair-share" (peer-instruction).

D. Hestenes, M. Wells, and G. Swackhamer, Arizona State University, "Force Concept Inventory," Phys. Teach. 30, 141-158 (1992).
Development of the FCI, a 30-question survey of basic Newtonian mechanics concepts.

Previous FCI results:

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