Colorado Upper Division Electrostatics Diagnostic - Coupled Multiple Response (CUE-CMR)

Developed by Bethany Wilcox and Steven Pollock

Purpose To assess skills in first semester upper-level E&M, such as the ability to visualize a problem, correctly apply problem-solving methods, connect math to physics, and describe limiting behavior.
Format Pre/post, Multiple-choice, Multiple-response
Duration Pre: 20 min; Post: 50 min
Focus Electricity / Magnetism Content knowledge (electrostatics, magnetostatics, choosing a problem-solving method)
Level Upper-level
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Sample question from the CUE-CMR:

CUE-CMR Implementation and Troubleshooting Guide

Everything you need to know about implementing the CUE-CMR in your class.

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B. Wilcox and S. Pollock, Coupled multiple-response versus free-response conceptual assessment: An example from upper-division physics, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 10 (2), 020124 (2014).
External Resources

The Colorado Science Education Initiative has developed a wide range of curricular materials for teaching junior-level electrostatics, of which the CUE-CMR is only one. Please visit the course website for other materials such as group activities, clicker questions, and homework.

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Gold Star Validation
This is the highest level of research validation, corresponding to all seven 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 CUE-CMR are adapted from the CUE-FR, which is the free-response version of the test. The multiple-choice responses on the CUE-CMR come from student solutions and the grading rubric for the free-response version of the test. The test questions underwent expert review and were refined through student interviews. CUE-CMR scores correlate strongly with standard exam scores (r=0.79). Appropriate statistical analyses of difficulty, discrimination and internal consistency were conducted. The CUE-CMR has been given to over 50 students at one institution. The results are published in two peer-reviewed publications.


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Typical Results

Typical results on the CUE-CMR from (Wilcox and Pollock, 2014):

  • Using the nuanced grading rubric, the post-test average CUE-CMR score was 54.3% +/- 2.8% (σ =19.1%).
  • Using the “perfect” scoring rubric, the post-test average CUE-CMR score is 42.8% +/- 2.8% (σ=18.5%)

The latest version of the CUE-CMR, released in 2013, is version 9. The CUE-CMR is intended to replace the CUE-FR, a free response version of the same assessment. Version 9 of the CUE-CMR is comparable to version 22 of the CUE-FR.