Day 34: Last Class Tests

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

I teach four sections of physics. Today, my fourth and final section took their unit test.

Results of the Sound & Waves Unit test

Results of the Sound & Waves Unit test

My goal this year is to improve student performance on conceptual problems. In this unit, there’s a lot of questions like “The frequency of a sound wave in air is doubled. How is it’s wavelength affected?”

Yeah, so I’m aware the above graph means next to nothing, so let’s dive into the stats I find interesting:

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 6.42.27 PM

I went looking at the statistics for my Moodle test. A tiny screen capture is above (don’t worry that it’s unreadable, the picture isn’t the point). After downloading the Excel version, I sorted by Facility Index column. 60% (17/28) of my questions were conceptual.

  • Easiest questions: 29% (4/14) are conceptual
  • Hardest questions: 50% (7/14) are conceptual

I definitely feel an improvement over last year (for which I don’t have access to similar statistics). From the facility index stat, I take that conceptual questions prove hardest on my tests.

When I look at the standard deviation, I saw the following:

  • the top 5 highest standard deviation questions are all conceptual
  • the bottom 5 lowest standard deviation questions are 4/5 calculations

From this, I take that the biggest variations among my kids’ responses comes from conceptual questions (some found these really easy and others found them really hard).

Here’s a sample question from the category that proved the most difficult according to the Facility Index:

Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 7.08.37 PM

In conclusion (man, I’m making this picture-a-day blog way harder than it’s supposed to be), I need to figure out how to improve my students’ conceptual understanding.

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One thought on “Day 34: Last Class Tests

  1. Pingback: Physics180: A photo-a-day blog | Day 34: Mirror Mazes

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