Abstract

A 30-item Materials Concept Inventory (MCI) was created six years ago in order to help measure conceptual change and identify misconceptions in introductory materials science and engineering classes. Since that time it has proven useful as a tool to examine student conceptual knowledge and the effect of pedagogy on conceptual change. However, the current effort and prior work by others indicate that an MCI with a reduced number of topical areas and more multiple representations of important concepts could improve its validity and reliability. In particular, we are reporting in this research the analysis of the factor structure of the MCI using a principle component factor analysis. 318 students completed pre-post course testing of the MCI while enrolled in sections of an introductory materials engineering course in six different semesters. There was a good degree of internal consistency, and the principal components analysis supported the notion of a seven-factor solution. The reliability coefficients for the MCI was determined to be alpha = .73. Factor analysis is being used to test the effect of substitution of new or modified items to improve the construct validity of the MCI. Ultimately, a more accurate measurement tool has the potential to improve student learning through better assessment of the effect of pedagogy on student conceptual change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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