### Summer end assessment

What follows are a few rambling notes to myself, data I may want to access at some future date. Placing the data here makes the data retrievable either by sequential access from the blog archive, using a label or tag, or via a restricted search.

The item analysis of the MS 101 Algebra and Trigonometry final examination:

 q topic n p 1 Evaluate exponential functions 25 96% 2 Solve exponential functions 23 88% 3 Calculate compound interest 22 85% 4 Calculate continuous interest 23 88% 5 Calculate best fit log function 25 96% 6 Evaluate logarithmic equation 24 92% 7 Solve logarithmic equation 24 92% 8 Evaluate exponential decay 14 54% 9 Solve exponential decay 22 85% 10 Identify coordinates on a circle 24 92% 11 Calculate trig function 25 96% 12 Interpret coordinates based on trig calculation 22 85% 13 Calculate trig function 25 96% 14 Interpret coordinates based on trig calculation 16 62% 15 Calculate trig function 24 92% 16 Interpret coordinates based on trig calculation 16 62% 17 Calculate trig function 25 96% 18 Interpret coordinates based on trig calculation 16 62% 19 Determine wavelength from graph 24 92% 20 Determine the amplitude from graph 24 92% 21 Write trigonometric wavelength function 17 65% 22 Calculate inverse trig function 22 85% 23 Calculate inverse trig function 13 50% 24 Solve using Pythagorean formula 17 65% 25 Determine Pythagorean triple from a single member 21 81% 26 Evaluate projectile equation 18 69% 27 Solve projectile equation 20 77% 28 Solve projectile equation for angle theta 23 88% 29 Calculate dot product 16 62% 30 Calculate cross product 18 69% 31 Solve two non-lin equations in two unknowns 16 62% 32 Calculate magnitude of a vector 25 96% 33 Calculate vector angle 25 96% 34 Identify Pythagorean solid 18 69%

where q is the question number on the final examination, n is the number of students out of 26 who answered correctly, and p is the percent answering correctly. The syllabus and notes on the use of WolframAlpha in the course are also available. Average performance was 81%,

Performance by course learning outcome in SC 130 Physical Science aggregated from an item analysis of a 56 question final examination:

 SLO Sp 08 Fs 08 Sp 09 Fa 09 Sp 10 Su 10 Fa 10 Sp 11 Su 11 CLO 1 0.54 0.57 0.55 0.49 0.65 0.68 0.29 0.82 0.74 CLO 2 0.61 0.62 0.51 0.30 0.64 0.76 0.34 0.63 0.66 CLO 3 0.52 0.72 0.57 0.65 0.72 0.63 0.35 0.57 0.63 CLO 4 0.50 0.38 0.53 0.47 0.53 0.71 0.10 0.70 0.55 Overall 0.54 0.57 0.54 0.49 0.63 0.70 0.27 0.65 0.63

Summer 2010 and new final examination structure was introduced. While performance was high in the summer, fall 2010 performance levels collapsed against historic norms. The final examination structure introduced summer 2010 was retained spring and summer 2011. Performance levels recovered to slightly above the historic norms. The collapse fall 2010 remains unexplained.

Five question topics that were tested on the first test and which covered a core area of SLO 1.2 were retested on the final examination. Strong gains as measured by an item analysis were seen in these areas from test one to the final. At the start of the term no more than ten students were successful on any one question, by term's end no fewer than fourteen were successful.  Student gains in graphing, obtaining and interpreting slopes saw strong improvement.

 term start term end Question topic n corr perc n corr perc Δ% calculate slope from line on graph 15 10 0.67 16 14 0.88 0.21 density as equal to slope 15 7 0.47 16 14 0.88 0.41 infer effect of density 15 10 0.67 16 15 0.94 0.27 calculate density from measurements 15 8 0.53 16 14 0.88 0.35 calculate mass from density and volume 15 10 0.67 16 16 1.00 0.33 plot data on graph 15 15 1.00 16 draw line through data points 15 14 0.93 16 calculate slope from line on graph 15 11 0.73 16

The high performance on the last three questions above on the first test of the term and subsequent demonstration of these skills during the term led to their intentional omission on the final examination. The students could plot data coordinates and draw a line through the points even before they began the course.

The last question on the final examination asked the students to "write a paragraph on whether you believe that nature is mathematical. Is nature mathematical? Support your answer with specific evidence."

There were five categories to the answers provided by the students. The number preceding the category is the number of students who answered that way.
2 Yes, based on doing the experiments in the class.
5 Yes, based on the cosmological theories presented in videos shown the last week of class
5 Yes, based on other examples, usually examples of numbers in life such as the price of food stuffs
1 No, cosmological theories are incomplete and some are untestable (string theory)
2 No, nature is theistically determined
1 No answer given.