Inventory of Basic Conceptions - Mechanics (IBCM)

Developed by Ibrahim Halloun

Purpose To assess the basic threshold of meaningful understanding of Newtonian theory.
Format Pre/post, Multiple-choice
Duration 30 min
Focus Mechanics Content knowledge (forces, kinematics)
Level Intro college, High school
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Most questions on the IBCM are modified from the MDT, FCI, or MBT. New questions are variations on themes from these tests.

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Silver Validation
This is the second highest level of research validation, corresponding to at least 5 of the validation categories below.

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • Student thinking

Studied Using:

  • Student interviews
  • Expert review
  • Appropriate statistical analysis

Research Conducted:

  • At multiple institutions
  • By multiple research groups
  • Peer-reviewed publication

Most of the multiple-choice questions on the IBCM were taken from the FCI and MDT. Eight of the IBCM questions were newly created by the developer. The IBCM underwent expert review and was given to over 2500 high school and introductory college students, at many institutions in the US and Lebanon in several phases. A subset of students was interviewed about their responses. The questions were revised, given to a new group of students, and again tested in student interviews. Appropriate statistical analysis of reliability was conducted, and reasonable values found. Males were found to outperform females. The IBCM has been given to over 2500 students. There are no peer-reviewed publications about this assessment.

From: Halloun, I. A. (2007). Evaluation of the Impact of the New Physics Curriculum on the Conceptual Profiles of Secondary Students. Beirut, Lebanon.

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Language Translator(s)  
French Ibrahim Halloun

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Typical Results

Typical scores from Halloun, 2007 for US university students in a first year physics course with traditional instruction. "Students in each group attended large hall lectures (100-150 students hall capacity) for three 50-mn periods a week, and some attended small groups 'recitations' (about 24 students each) of one weekly period dedicated to problem solving. Some have also attended a 2-period weekly laboratory session that engages small groups of students (about 24 students) in traditional physics experiments."

The latest version of the IBCM, released in 2006, is version F06.