Developed by Ron Thornton and David Sokoloff
|Purpose||To assess students' understanding of Newtonian mechanics.|
|Focus||Mechanics Content knowledge (kinematics, forces, energy, graphing)|
|Level||Intro college, High school|
Sample questions from the FMCE:
This is the highest level of research validation, corresponding to all seven of the validation categories below.
Research Validation Summary
Based on Research Into:
- Student thinking
- Student interviews
- Expert review
- Appropriate statistical analysis
- At multiple institutions
- By multiple research groups
- Peer-reviewed publication
The multiple-choice questions on the FMCE were developed based on student interviews, responses to open-ended versions of the questions and expert review. Statistical analyses of reliability and consistency were conducted and the FMCE was found to be reliable and consistent between test and re-test. A factor analysis found that questions were clustered around three factors, which were named “Newton’s first and second law, including acceleration,” “Newton’s third law,” and “velocity concept”. This means that students’ view these groups of questions as strongly related. The FMCE has been used to compare the effectiveness of many different teaching methods and the results published in over 20 peer-reviewed publications. It has been administered at over 15 different institutions to over 20,000 students in both algebra and calculus-based introductory physics courses.
- K. Cummings, J. Marx, R. Thornton, and D. Kuhl, Evaluating innovation in studio physics, Am. J. Phys. 67 (S1), S38 (1999).
- G. Davenport, The Reliability of the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation, Masters, University of Maine, 2008.
- N. Finkelstein and S. Pollock, Replicating and understanding successful innovations: Implementing tutorials in introductory physics, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 1 (1), (2005).
- C. Hoellwarth, M. Moelter, and R. Knight, A direct comparison of conceptual learning and problem solving ability in traditional and studio style classrooms, Am. J. Phys. 73 (5), 459 (2005).
- C. Hoellwarth and M. Moelter, The implications of a robust curriculum in introductory mechanics, Am. J. Phys. 79 (5), 540 (2011).
- L. Kost, S. Pollock, and N. Finkelstein, Unpacking Gender Differences in Students’ Perceived Experiences in Introductory Physics, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2009, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2009.
- L. Kost-Smith, S. Pollock, and N. Finkelstein, Gender disparities in second-semester college physics: The incremental effects of a "smog of bias", Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6 (2), 020112 (2010).
- S. Pollock, Transferring Transformations: Learning Gains, Student Attitudes, and the Impacts of Multiple Instructors in Large Lecture Courses, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2005, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2005.
- S. Ramlo, The Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation, , Report No. ED471542, 2002.
- S. Ramlo, Validity and reliability of the force and motion conceptual evaluation, Am. J. Phys. 76 (9), 882 (2008).
- M. Sharma, I. Johnston, H. Johnston, K. Varvell, G. Robertson, A. Hopkins, C. Stewart, I. Cooper, and R. Thornton, Use of interactive lecture demonstrations: A ten year study, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6 (2), 020119 (2010).
- T. Smith and M. Wittmann, Applying a resources framework to analysis of the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 4 (2), 020101 (2008).
- T. Smith and M. Wittmann, Comparing three methods for teaching Newton’s third law, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 3 (2), 020105 (2007).
- R. Thornton and D. Sokoloff, Assessing student learning of Newton's laws: The Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation and the Evaluation of Active Learning Laboratory and Lecture Curricula, Am. J. Phys. 66 (4), 338 (1998).
- R. Thornton, D. Kuhl, K. Cummings, and J. Marx, Comparing the force and motion conceptual evaluation and the force concept inventory, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 5 (1), 010105 (2009).
- R. Thornton, Measuring and Improving Student Mathematical Skills for Modeling, presented at the GIREP Conference 2006: Modeling in Physics and Physics Education, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2006.
- J. Von Korff, B. Archibeque, K. Gomez, T. Heckendorf, S. McKagan, E. Sayre, E. Schenk, C. Shepherd, and L. Sorell, Secondary analysis of teaching methods in introductory physics: A 50 k-student study, Am. J. Phys. 84 (12), (2016).
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|Spanish||Olivier Espinosa and Hugo Alarcon|
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Typical results from Von Korff et al. 2016:
The figure below presents typical FMCE normalized gain scores for two different teaching method types, interative engagement and traditional. Courses taught using interactive engagement methods have higher normalized gains than those taught using traditional lecture. For IE, n=26325 students, 156 classes and 10 institutions. For traditional, n=3432 students, 26 classes and 7 institutions.
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The latest version of the FMCE, released in 1999, is called v99 and has 47 questions. The original version, v98, published in Thornton and Sokoloff (1998), is the same as the 1999 version except that it is missing the last 4 questions, which are about energy. Most scoring schemes do not score the last 4 questions.