Minnesota Assessment of Problem Solving (MAPS)

Developed by Jennifer Docktor and Ken Heller

To assess written solutions to problems given in undergraduate introductory physics courses.
Format Rubric
Duration n/a min
Focus Problem-solving (Useful problem description, physics approach, specific application of physics, mathematical procedures, logical progression)
Level Intro college, High school

The full Minnesota Assessment of Problem Solving Rubric (MAPS) from Docktor et al. 2015.

External Resources

The developers website contains more information about the MAPS rubric and training materials to help you learn how to use the rubric for general purposes or research purposes:   http://groups.physics.umn.edu/physed/rubric.html

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


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Download the MAPS scoring tool.

Typical Results

Because the MAPS is a rubric used to score physics problem solutions, there are no typical scores for this assessment. Here is an example of what the scores on this assessment look like (Table 24) for a specific physics problem (Test 1 Problem 2) for a specific group of students as reported in Docktor 2009 .

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The latest version of the MAPS, version 4.4, was released in 2008.