Tuesday, 1 October 2013
I teach four sections of physics. Today, my fourth and final section took their 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:
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:
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.