Lunar Phases Concept Inventory (LPCI)

Developed by Rebecca Lindell

Purpose To assess college students’ mental models of lunar phases.
Format Pre/post, Multiple-choice
Duration 20-25 min
Focus Astronomy Content knowledge (phases of the moon)
Level Intro college
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Sample questions from the LPCI:
LPCI sample question

LPCI Implementation and Troubleshooting Guide

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R. Lindell and J. Olsen, Developing the Lunar Phases Concept Inventory, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2002, Boise, Idaho, 2002.
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Bronze Validation
This is the third highest level of research validation, corresponding to at least 3 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

The multiple-choice questions on the LPCI were developed based on research into the dimensions and facets of students’ mental models of lunar phases. Questions and multiple-choice answers were written based on the concept domains outlined for the LPCI and reviewed by experts. An initial version of the LPCI was tested with over 400 introductory astronomy students and appropriate statistical analyses of reliability, difficulty, concentration and discrimination were conducted. The identified several items to be revised. The LPCI has been given to over 750 introductory astronomy students at several universities. 


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Language Translator(s)  
Spanish Agustín Vallejo

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Typical Results

Typical results from Lindell and Sommer 2003 for introductory astronomy courses at eight institutions.

The latest version released in 2003, is version 3. The initial version had only 14 questions, it was then expanded to 19 questions, and finally to 20.