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Investigating the Validity of Students’ Self-Assessments of Their Ability in Statics

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Teaching Statics

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.974.1 - 22.974.7



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Paper Authors


Jeffrey L. Newcomer Western Washington University

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Jeffrey L. Newcomer is a Professor of Manufacturing Engineering
Technology at Western Washington University. He
received B.S. (1988) and M.Eng. (1989) degreesin Aeronautical
Engineering, a M.S. in Science and Technology Studies (1993),
and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (1994) from Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute. He is engaged in research to improve instruction and assessment in engineering, with an emphasis on
engineering fundamentals such as mechanics

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Investigating the Validity of Students’ Self-Assessments of Their Ability in Statics Jeffrey L. Newcomer Engineering Technology Department Western Washington University Bellingham, WA 98225-9086 Jeff.Newcomer@wwu.eduAbstractIn this paper students’ self-assessment of three skills in Statics—drawing free body diagrams, writingequilibrium equations, and solving equilibrium equations—were compared to their performance in thesame three areas across multiple problems on a final exam. Furthermore, additional cognitive data suchas overall grade point average and grades in pre-requisite courses were also compared to performance inStatics. While there was correlation between students’ self-assessment of their ability to draw free bodydiagrams and performance on the final exam in all three areas, the strongest correlations were with overallgrade point average. There were also some correlations with grades in the pre-requisite Physics I classand whether that class was algebra or calculus based. The effects associated with these factors weresmall, and none of the models accounted for much more than a third of the variation in the data. As such,these data indicate that students’ self-assessment scores should not be used for assessment in place ofdirect measures, but might still serve as supplemental information.

Newcomer, J. L. (2011, June), Investigating the Validity of Students’ Self-Assessments of Their Ability in Statics Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18203

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