Heat and Temperature Conceptual Evaluation (HTCE)

Developed by Ron Thornton and David Sokoloff

Purpose To assess students' understanding of heat and temperature concepts.
Format Pre/post, Multiple-choice, Short answer
Duration 40 min
Focus Thermal / Statistical Content knowledge (temperature, phase change, heat transfer, thermal properties of materials)
Level Intro college
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Sample questions from the HCTE:

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C. Tanahoung, M. Sharma, I. Johnston, R. Chitaree, and C. Soankwan, Surveying Sydney Introductory Physics Students' Understandings of Heat and Temperature, presented at the Australian Institute of Physics National Congress, Brisbane, 2006.
RESEARCH VALIDATION
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 HTCE are based on research into student thinking. The HTCE has been tested with over 1000 students at four universities.

References

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Typical Results

Typical Results from Tanahoung et. al, 2006. Question 24 was omitted from the analysis because it was not multiple-choice. 

University Pre-test Post-test ‹g›
Mahidol University   62%  
Khon Kaen University   51%  
Ubon Rajathnee University   42%  
University of Sydney (2005)   69%  
University of Sydney regular class (2006) 53% 72% 40%
University of Sydney advanced class (2006) 69% 84% 47%

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The latest version of the HCTE, released in 2001, is version 1.