Conceptum: an Online Platform for Developing Modular Concept Inventories Gautam Mohan (Webb)

Conceptum: an Online Platform For Developing Modular Concept Inventories

Webb, Kevin and Mohan, Sominder

Concept Inventories (CIs) are short, multiple-choice exams that evaluate a student's understanding of core concepts of a particular course. They are particularly adept at evaluating how effective a professor is at teaching material via comparing pre- and post-course scores. However, CI development requires significant overhead: the current state of the art calls for an intensive, 6-step process (Adams, 2). As a result, there are few CIs available for academic use, despite their effectiveness. Additionally, the CIs that do exist are made for a set curriculum; CIs for courses with modular content (like a data structures & algorithms CS course) remain undeveloped.

Our research is devoted to solving this problem by implementing an online platform for developing, deploying, and evaluating a modular concept inventory. This open-source software will allow any number of collaborators to come together and build a CI for a much lower cost. Additionally, the tool will be able to manage, administer, and iteratively improve CIs after they are created. Our web tool will be modular, so that researchers can use it to explore different methods of creating CIs, as well as use the standard process to create them. Our hope is to greatly accelerate the production of CIs, as this will prove to be a great benefit for the pedagogical community.

Literature Cited

W. K. Adams & C. E. Wieman 2010. "Development and Validation of Instruments to Measure
Learning of Expert-Like Thinking." International Journal of Science Education, 1-24.