Diagnoser Tools

Developed by: FACET Innovations

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other

 Intro College Calculus-based
calc based
 Intro College Algebra-based
alg based
 Intro College Conceptual

Mechanics  Waves / Optics  Other Science  Pedagogy
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Lab  Homework  Studio

What? Learning goals and tools for eliciting students' initial ideas, facets of learners' thinking with respect to learning goals and common misconceptions (problematic ideas,) lessons to engage students' ideas, assessment items, and reporting structures for students and teachers.

Why? Because the tasks are short and independent of one another, they are easy to try out without making significant alterations to your course. They are constructed to be the right "step size" so that students feel comfortable responding to them using their natural ideas rather than memorized physics.

Why not? Diagnoser Tools were designed for use in high school classrooms. While appropriate for college-level conceptual physics, they may be less useful in a more rigorous course.

Student skills developed

Designed for:
  • Conceptual understanding
Can be adapted for:
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Making real-world connections
  • Using multiple representations
  • Designing experiments
  • Metacognition

Instructor effort required

  • Medium

Resources required

  • Computers for students

Developer's website: Diagnoser Tools
Intro Article: P. Kraus and J. Minstrell, Designing Diagnostic Assessments, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2002, Boise, Idaho, 2002.

You can access the Diagnoser Tools for free by registering with the Diagnoser website.

Silver Validation
This is the second highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
  • at least 1 of the "based on" categories
  • at least 2 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
  • at least 4 of the "studied using" categories
(Categories shown below)

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • theories of how students learn
  • student ideas about specific topics

Demonstrated to Improve:

  • conceptual understanding
  • problem-solving skills
  • lab skills
  • beliefs and attitudes
  • attendance
  • retention of students
  • success of underrepresented groups
  • performance in subsequent classes

Studied using:

  • cycle of research and redevelopment
  • student interviews
  • classroom observations
  • analysis of written work
  • research at multiple institutions
  • research by multiple groups
  • peer-reviewed publication


Compatible Method

PhysPort Data Explorer

Screenshot of the Data Explorer
Explore assessment data