Using a materials concept inventory to assess conceptual gain in introductory materials engineering courses

Stephen Krause, J. Chris Decker, Richard Griffin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

34 Scopus citations


A Materials Concept Inventory (MCI) has been created to measure conceptual knowledge gain in introductory materials engineering courses. The 30-question, multiple-choice MCI test has been administered as a pre and post-test at Arizona State University (ASU) and Texas A & M University (TAMU) to classes ranging in size from 16 to 90 students. The results on the pre-test (entering class) showed both "prior misconceptions" and knowledge gaps that resulted from earlier coursework in chemistry and, to a lesser extent, in geometry. The post-test (exiting class) showed both that some "prior misconceptions" persisted and also that new "spontaneous misconceptions" had been created during the course of the class. Most classes showed a limited, 15% to 20%, gain in knowledge between pre and post-test scores, but one class, which used active learning, showed a gain of 38%. More details on these results, on differences in results between ASU and TAMU, and on the nature of students' conceptual knowledge will be described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication33rd Annual Frontiers in Education
Subtitle of host publicationEngineering as a Human Endeavor: Partnering Community, Academia, Government, and Industry, FIE 2003 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)0780379616
StatePublished - 2003
Event33rd Annual Frontiers in Education, FIE 2003 - Westminster, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2003Nov 8 2003

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other33rd Annual Frontiers in Education, FIE 2003
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Assessment
  • Materials concept inventory
  • Materials engineering
  • Misconceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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