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The Force Concept Inventory Glenn Wagner Centre Wellington D.H.S.

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What is the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) Diagnostic tool designed to test student conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics 30 multiple choice questions Developed and revised starting in 1993 Over 20 000 students tested in the U.S. at the high school and university levels

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7. A steel ball is attached to a string and is swung in a circular path in a horizontal plane as illustrated in the accompanying figure. At the point P indicated in the figure, the string suddenly breaks near the ball. If these events are observed from directly above as in the figure, which path would the ball most closely follow after the string breaks?

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17. An elevator is being lifted up an elevator shaft at a constant speed by a steel cable as shown in the figure below. All frictional effects are negligible. In this situation, forces on the elevator are such that: (A)the upward force by the cable is greater than the downward force of gravity. (B)the upward force by the cable is equal to the downward force of gravity. (C)the upward force by the cable is smaller than the downward force of gravity. (D)the upward force by the cable is greater than the sum of the downward force of gravity and a downward force due to the air. (E)none of the above. (The elevator goes up because the cable is being shortened, not because an upward force is exerted on the elevator by the cable). Elevator going up at constant speed

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What does the FCI results tell the teacher? “Students who score below 60% on the FCI do not have a sufficient grasp of the principles of mechanics to use them reliably in reasoning and problem solving.” A score of >85% is the “mastery level”

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How To Administer the FCI Give as a pre-test at beginning of your course Teach as you would normally teach Give as a post-test at the end of the Newtonian mechanics section of the course

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Calculating the “Gain” Find out how well your class gained in their understanding of Newtonian mechanics Gain = (%post-test %pre-test)/ (100 %pre-test) high gain 0.7 medium gain 0.3 to 0.7 0.48 low gain < 0.3

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How Do You Obtain the FCI Test? E-mail Jane Jackson at Arizona State University E-mail from your teaching institution or provide evidence that you are a teacher Jane.jackson@asu.edu

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A Few “Don’t s” Do not let the students keep a copy of the test Do not post the test on local web sites Avoid using the post-test results as part of their grade

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Want more information? http://modeling.asu.edu Jane.jackson@asu.edu

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