Quadratic and Linear Conceptual Evaluation (QLCE)

Developed by Ron Thornton, Priscilla Laws, and Pat Cooney

Purpose To measure students' understanding of equations (liner and quadratic) as functional relationships.
Format Pre/post, Multiple-choice, Multiple-response
Duration 30 min
Focus Mathematics Content knowledge (graphing, mathematical modeling)
Level Intro college, High school
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Sample questions from the QLCE:

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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.
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 questions on the QLCE are based on research into student thinking about quadratic and linear equations. It has been administered at multiple institutions and results are published in one paper.


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Typical Results

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The latest version of the QLCE, released in 2012, is version 1. This test is an updated and improved version of the Mathematical Modeling Conceptual Evaluation I (MMCE-I), which is not to be confused with the MMCE-II that involves vectors.  The original test included some errors, some unvalidated questions, and also a question that was found to be nearly impossible for students to answer correctly, leading to the development of the QLCE, which is the same test with these problems excluded and some of the remaining problems reworded. The MMCE-I is included on the CD included with the "Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite" book, but the writers of the test have indicated that this test should not be used and should be replaced with the QLCE.


Mathematical Modeling Conceptual Evaluation

Content knowledge Mathematics
Intro college, High school
Pre/post, Multiple-choice, Multiple-response