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Determining The Factor Structure Of The Materials Concept Inventory

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

19

Page Numbers

14.436.1 - 14.436.19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4969

Download Count

460

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Paper Authors

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James Corkins Arizona State University

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James Corkins, Arizona State University
James Corkins is a Ph.D. student in Science Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at ASU. He earned his MA degree in Science Education at Arizona State University. His BS degree is in Physics. His principle research areas are inquiry-based learning and characterization and measurement of conceptual change in thermodynamics and introductory materials science.

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Jacquelyn Kelly Arizona State University

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Jacquelyn Kelly, Arizona State University
Jacquelyn Kelley is a M.S. student in the School of Materials in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. Her BS degree is in Physics and Chemistry Education. Her principle research areas are inquiry-based learning and development and assessment of inquiry-based modules in materials science and engineering. She teaches physics, chemistry and mathematics in a local arts high school.

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Dale Baker Arizona State University

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Dale Baker, Arizona State University
Dale R. Baker is a Professor of Science Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at ASU and is the Co-Editor of The Journal of Research in Science Teaching. She teaches courses in science curricula, teaching and learning, and assessment courses with an emphasis on constructivist theory and issues of equity. Her research focuses on issues of gender, science, and science teaching. She has won two awards for her research in these areas.

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Sharon Robinson Kurpius

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Sharon Robinson Kurpius, Arizona State University
Sharon E. Robinson Kurpius is a professor of Counseling Psychology. She has received numerous national grants examining undergraduates’ academic persistence and the academic success of talented adolescent girls. She was recently named a “Multicultural Scholar” by the NACAC for her work on the retention of racial/ethnic minority students in higher education.

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Amaneh Tasooji Arizona State University

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Amaneh Tasooji, Arizona State University
Amaneh Tasooji is an Associate Research Professor in the School of Materials at ASU and has been teaching and developing new content for materials science and engineering classes and laboratories. She has developed new content and contextual teaching methods from her experience as a researcher and General Manager at Honeywell Inc. She is currently working to develop new assessments to reveal and address student misconceptions in introductory materials engineering classes.

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Stephen Krause Arizona State University

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Stephen Krause, Arizona State University
Stephen J. Krause is Professor in the School of Materials in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. He teaches in the areas of bridging engineering and education, design and selection of materials, general materials engineering, polymer science, and characterization of materials. His research interests are in innovative education in engineering and K-12 engineering outreach. He has been working on Project Pathways, an NSF supported Math Science Partnership, in developing modules for Physics and Chemistry and also a course on Engineering Capstone Design. He has also co-developed a Materials Concept Inventory for assessing fundamental knowledge of students in introductory materials engineering classes.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Determining the Factor Structure of the Materials Concept Inventory Abstract

A 30-item Materials Concept Inventory (MCI) was created six years ago in order to help measure conceptual change and identify misconceptions in introductory materials science and engineering classes. Since that time it has proven useful as a tool to examine student conceptual knowledge and the effect of pedagogy on conceptual change. However, the current effort and prior work by others indicate that an MCI with a reduced number of topical areas and more multiple representations of important concepts could improve its validity and reliability. In particular, we are reporting in this research the analysis of the factor structure of the MCI using a principle component factor analysis. 318 students completed pre-post course testing of the MCI while enrolled in sections of an introductory materials engineering course in six different semesters. There was a good degree of internal consistency, and the principal components analysis supported the notion of a seven-factor solution. The reliability coefficients for the MCI was determined to be alpha = .73. Factor analysis is being used to test the effect of substitution of new or modified items to improve the construct validity of the MCI. Ultimately, a more accurate measurement tool has the potential to improve student learning through better assessment of the effect of pedagogy on student conceptual change.

Introduction

Engineering faculty sometimes comment that even students who correctly solve problems in phase diagrams may mistakenly believe that, the atom size in a substance increases as it changes from liquid state to gaseous state or when heated1. These observations are supported by evidence in the literature that suggests that engineering students taking an introductory materials science course often have similar misconceptions about how molecular-scale processes fundamentally differ from observable, macroscopic causal behavior we experience in our daily lives2.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) commissioned a team of researchers at the Penn State Center for the Study of Higher Education to assess the impact of the accreditation criteria on student learning outcomes3. The first learning outcome of the ABET, Criterion 3 (a), states that, "Engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering appropriate to the discipline"3. Simply stated, this requires that students need to be able to transfer previously acquired knowledge and skills to new engineering learning situations and applications.

One important subject area taught in a fundamental way in chemistry and in an applied way in engineering is the domain of materials. It is an area of fundamental conceptual knowledge that is applied to a broad set of disciplines in chemical, mechanical, aerospace, physics and materials engineering4. It is usually assumed that prerequisite science classes provide students with a foundation of content that is strong enough to be challenged by this application to new domains, but students’ incorrect prior conceptions may be a barrier which handicaps this transfer.

Corkins, J., & Kelly, J., & Baker, D., & Robinson Kurpius, S., & Tasooji, A., & Krause, S. (2009, June), Determining The Factor Structure Of The Materials Concept Inventory Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4969

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015