Asee peer logo

Predicting Conceptual Gain in an Atomic Bonding Module

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Novel Approaches to Teaching Materials

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1166.1 - 22.1166.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jacquelyn E. Kelly Arizona State University

visit author page

Jacquelyn Kelly is doctoral student in Science Education at Arizona State University. Her Master's degree is in Materials Science and Engineering and her undergraduate degree is in Physics and Chemistry. Her principle research interests are situated in engineering education and include conceptual development, engineering academic language acquisition, and the role of motivation and emotion on these things. She is also invested and passionate about K-12 education as she teaches physics, chemistry, and science foundations at New School for the Arts and Academics, an alternative arts high school.

visit author page


Stephen J. Krause Arizona State University

visit author page

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.

visit author page


Dale R. Baker Arizona State University

visit author page

Dale Baker is a science educator in the MaryLou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. In additon, she is on the Advisory Baord of the Journal of Engineering Education. Her reserach intersts are engineering education, teacher professional development, and the improvement of teaching and learning in STEM.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Predicting Conceptual Gain in an Atomic Bonding Module from Proficiency in "Engineering Speak"Engineering education has focused on understanding student conceptual developmentwith a variety of assessment methods. Much research is focused on developing strategies,pedagogies, or interventions to promote effective conceptual development. However,results are dependent on the ability to accurately, efficiently, and easily measure theeffect of different strategies on differences in conceptual gains. At this time, theMaterials Concept Inventory (MCI) is the only validated pre-post course assessment toolfor measuring student conceptual gain in introductory materials courses. But, becausesuch courses are often broad in scope, topics may differ from those found on the MCIand can be difficult to assess. Developing alternative assessment tools that effectivelyelicit student misconceptions and measure conceptual change may take time, resources,and significant numbers of students. In this study we seek to answer the question, “Whatkind of model is there that can be constructed to predict conceptual change using studentunderstanding which easy to use for acquisition and analysis of data.?” One method tofor doing this, which is reported in this research, is to code student responses to variousquestions on a given topic for the level of quality of technical “engineering speak”."Engineering speak" refers to expert consensus of the means of describing materialsconcepts and phenomena in a particular topical area. In this work we report on studentresponses in the area of atomic bonding. Such responses were either assigned a value of 0(for no response), 1 (for colloquial speak), 2 (for quasi colloquial/engineering speak), or 3(for technical engineering speak). It was found that level of engineering speak alonecould significantly predict 52.7% of the variance in conceptual gain scores in the area ofatomic bonding over the course of a semester, R2 = .527, t(35) = 6.33, p < .01. Additionalpredictors will be examined to see if a simple model can be created to explain additionalvariance in conceptual gain. A simple model such as this has the potential to giveinstructors easier access to assessment of student conceptual change. The model also hasthe potential to track the impact of teaching and learning materials on student progress inlearning of topical content for different engineering disciplines.

Kelly, J. E., & Krause, S. J., & Baker, D. R. (2011, June), Predicting Conceptual Gain in an Atomic Bonding Module Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18838

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: © 2011 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