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The Development Of A Q Matrix For The Concept Assessment Tool For Statics

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Conceptual Learning

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1218.1 - 15.1218.20



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Paper Authors


Aidsa Santiago Roman University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez

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Aidsa I. Santiago Román is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Materials and the Director of the Strategic Engineering Education Development (SEED) Office at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (UPRM). Dr. Santiago earned a BA (1996) and MS (2000) in Industrial Engineering from UPRM, and Ph.D. (2009) in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Her primary research interest is investigating students’ understanding of difficult concepts in engineering science with underrepresented populations. She also teaches introductory engineering courses such as Problem Solving and Computer Programming, Statics, and Mechanics.

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Ruth Streveler Purdue Universtiy

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Ruth A. Streveler is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Before coming to Purdue she spent 12 years at Colorado School of Mines, where she was the founding Director of the Center for Engineering Education. Dr. Streveler earned a BA in Biology from Indiana University-Bloomington, MS in Zoology from the Ohio State University, and Ph.D in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii at M?noa. Her primary research interest is investigating students’ understanding of difficult concepts in engineering science.

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Paul Steif Carnegie Mellon University

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Paul S. Steif is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He received a Sc.B. in engineering from Brown University (1979) and M.S. (1980) and Ph.D. (1982) degrees from Harvard University in applied mechanics. He has been active as a teacher and researcher in the field of engineering mechanics. In particular, Dr. Steif develops and implements new approaches and technologies to measure student understanding of engineering and to improve instruction.

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Louis DiBello University of Illinois at Chicago

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Louis DiBello is an Associate Director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute (LRSI) and Lead Informative Assessment Initiative within LSRI. His research interests include Item-Response-Theory-based Cognitive Diagnostic Models, Psychometrics, Educational Measurement and Assessment, Classroom Assessment, Embedded Assessment, and Teacher Professional Development.

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

The Development of a Q-Matrix for the Concept Assessment Tool for Statics Abstract

A concept inventory (CI) is a multiple-choice instrument designed to evaluate whether a person has an accurate, working knowledge of a specific set of concepts. An important role of -conceptions their students hold which may

successfully in instructional settings, due in part to statistical analysis techniques that are

To begin filling this gap, a study was conducted to determine the applicability of a new statistical method called the Fusion Model to the Concept Assessment Tool for Statics (CATS) among engineering students from various universities. A four-phase procedure was developed to apply the Fusion Model to CATS. Each phase had a specific objective that was tied to a primary research question. This paper focuses on phase 1 the generation of a Q-matrix that relates a set of cognitive attributes to specific CATS questions. The process used in this phase of the study consisted of analyzing the items in CATS and determining the cognitive attributes required for students to choose the framework facets of understanding. Results from this study led to the development of a Q-matrix in which 13 attributes were identified among the 27 items. Six of those attributes were identified and expected to be more problematic. Identification of these attributes provide an additional diagnostic information to instructors because instructors will know not only which concepts the students find more difficult, but also what specific attributes contribute to making the concept difficult. With this added information, instruction can be targeted to those specific attributes or concepts.


For the past several years, programs within the National Science Foundation (NSF) have provided funding to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educators to encourage the creation of various discipline specific concept inventories1. A concept inventory (CI) is a multiple-choice instrument designed to evaluate whether a person has an accurate, working knowledge of a specific set of concepts2. An important role instructors with clues about the pre-conceptions their students hold which may be actively interfering with learning. Similarly, the Concept Assessment Tool for Statics (CATS) has been l understanding of fundamental statics concepts3. The multiple choice questions in CATS were developed according to specific statics concepts.

solving static problem. Engineering statics is a pivotal course in fields related to mechanical and civil engineering. It is the branch of mechanics concerned with the analysis of loads (force, torque/moment) on physical systems in static equilibrium4. Specifically, statics concepts are used in the analysis of structures such as those in architectural and structural engineering.

Santiago Roman, A., & Streveler, R., & Steif, P., & DiBello, L. (2010, June), The Development Of A Q Matrix For The Concept Assessment Tool For Statics Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16659

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