### 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:

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:

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.

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.

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.

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