Multiple choice diagnostic tests are becoming increasingly
popular in the physics education community to measure student understanding
of basic concepts. Further research is needed to assess the effectiveness
of this use. We have developed open ended examination questions that correspond
to several items on the most widely used diagnostic, the Force Concept
Inventory (FCI).1 The questions were included
on final exams of introductory calculus-based physics classes at the University
of Maryland. The FCI was administered during the last week of the semester
in these classes. Correlation between student performance on the FCI and
the complementary exam questions will be discussed.
* Supported in part by NSF grants RED-9355849 and DUE-9552465.
1 D. Hestenes, M. Wells, and G. Swackhammer, "Force
Concept Inventory", Phys. Teach. 30:3 141-158 (1992).