## 20131228

### Education research: SASS, FCI and student learning outcomes assessment (Cuesta College, fall semester 2013)

Student achievement of course learning outcomes are assessed by administering an Student Assessment of Skills Survey (SASS), a five-point Likert scale questionnaire (Patrick M. Len, in development) to Physics 205A students at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA. This is first semester of a two-semester introductory physics course (college physics, algebra-based, mandatory adjunct laboratory).

The SASS is administered online during the last week of instruction, to be completed before the final exam.

The SASS results from this semester are compiled below. Listed are the percentages of students who have self-assessed themselves as having successfully achieving a learning outcome (responding "average," "above average," or "excellent") as opposed to not achieving success with a learning outcome (responding "very poor" or "below average").

Cuesta College
Student Assessment of Skills Survey (SASS)
Physics 205A fall semester 2013
Sections 70854, 70855, 73320
N = 72

The questions below are designed to characterize your achievement of each of the learning outcomes by filling in a bubble on the rating scale provided to the right of each statement.

Mark the level of achievement that best describes your learning at the completion of the course.

1. Describe and quantify motion (kinematics), and apply Newton's laws to describe how forces affect motion (mechanics). (E.g. analyze forces acting on an object with a free-body diagram, and determine subsequent motion given initial conditions.)
(Achieved: 90%, unachieved: 10%)
 Very poor. [0] Below average. ******* [7] Average. ************************************ [36] Above average. ********************* [21] Excellent. ******** [8]

2. Describe and apply conservation laws of energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum to quantify the initial-to-final evolution of systems of objects. (E.g. determine final state of a system of objects given initial conditions and in-process exchanges, by deciding which relevant objects to include in a system in order to implement appropriate conservation law(s).)
(Achieved: 82%, unachieved: 18%)
 Very poor. *** [3] Below average. ********** [10] Average. ************************************ [36] Above average. ****************** [18] Excellent. ***** [5]

3. Describe and quantify different types of oscillations and waves, and the physical principles of these phenomena. (E.g. explain/predict the experience of disturbances of different media.)
(Achieved: 67%, unachieved: 33%)
 Very poor. ** [2] Below average. ********************** [22] Average. *********************** [23] Above average. ******************** [20] Excellent. ***** [5]

4. Describe and apply the laws of thermodynamics to quantify the initial-to-final evolution of microscopic and macroscopic systems of gases, fluids, and solids. (E.g. determine the final state of a gas/fluid/solid, given initial conditions and in-process exchanges, by implementing appropriate conservation law(s).)
(Achieved: 78%, unachieved: 12%)
 Very poor. [0] Below average. **************** [16] Average. *************************** [27] Above average. ************************** [26] Excellent. *** [3]

Of the four student learning outcomes in the SASS, one were self-reported as being achieved by at least 85% of students:
1. Describe and quantify motion (kinematics), and apply Newton's laws to describe how forces affect motion (mechanics). (90%)
However, four student learning outcomes were self-reported as being achieved by less than 85% of students, listed below in order of decreasing success:
2. Describe and apply conservation laws of energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum to quantify the initial-to-final evolution of systems of objects. (84%)
4. Describe and apply the laws of thermodynamics to quantify the initial-to-final evolution of microscopic and macroscopic systems of gases, fluids, and solids. (78%)
3. Describe and quantify different types of oscillations and waves, and the physical principles of these phenomena. (67%)
The mastery of applying Newton's laws to describe how forces affect motion in student learning outcome 1 for Cuesta College students is also directly assessed using the Force Concept Inventory Evaluation (David Hestenes, Malcolm Wells, and Gregg Swackhamer, Arizona State University).

As per the ACCJC (Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges), results from this indirect assessment SASS tool, along with the direct assessment FCI tool will be used for course/program improvement by increasing emphasis on the lowest learning outcomes in instruction in future semesters.