Makenna R. Korzan


Presentation: 3:00-4:15, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Physics educators use assessments to better understand students’ understanding of concepts inan introductory physics course. The Force Concepts Inventory was used as a model to develop anassessment to measure student learning of Hooke’s Law in an introductory physics lab. Three learningtargets were written, which the assessment questions were based on. The assessment was given duringthe summer term, and revisions to the assessment increased the effectiveness of the questions to assessthe learning targets. Data was collected from six sections of the PHY 201L during the fall term. Data wasanalyzed to determine student understanding of Hooke’s Law and effectiveness of teaching instructionin the PHY 201L. The assessment was given to sixty-eight students in the PHY 201L as a pretest beforethe Hooke’s Law lab and as a posttest afterwards. The results of the assessment showed that labinstruction was somewhat effective in increasing students’ understanding of Hooke’s Law with anaverage increase of 16% points per question on the assessment. The assessment found that studentscould explain how to find the spring constant from a graph by taking the slope. The assessment showedsmaller increases in scores for questions that included higher level questions. For example, studentscould not complete the calculation to determine the spring constant from a graph, incorrectly dividing yby x for a single point rather than taking the slope. To improve the Hooke’s Law lab, possible changescould include more opportunities for students to apply their knowledge of how to find spring constantfrom a graph and post lab questions where students have to explain Hooke’s Law and the relationshipbetween force and spring constant.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Brendon D. Mikula

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals


Analysis of Student Learning of Hooke's Law