Investigating animations for assessment with an animated version of the Force Concept Inventory
Melissa Hayes Dancy, North Carolina State University, United States
North Carolina State University . Awarded
Due to new technologies, it is now possible to assess students' conceptual understanding using computer animation. However, very little research has been done to guide the use of animations for assessment. I have looked at this area by replacing static pictures and descriptions of motion with animations on the Force Concept Inventory. The animated and traditional versions were then given to hundreds of students. Data on ACT scores and gender were also collected for many of these students. It was found that the animation can affect the answers students give, especially when the question involves motion and the animation is central to answering the question. I also found that performance on the animated questions is less correlated with verbal ability than performance on the traditional questions.
The second phase of this project involved think-aloud interviews with students to determine how the animations affected their interaction with each question. The results indicate that the animation can reduce misunderstandings due to reading difficulty or question vagueness. The animation can also help students to visualize situations.
For these reasons, the animated questions were often found to be superior to the traditional question because of increased validity. Based on the results of this study, I believe that computer animation can provide a valuable, and often improved method of assessment.
Dancy, M.H. Investigating animations for assessment with an animated version of the Force Concept Inventory. Ph.D. thesis, North Carolina State University.
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