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Undergraduate Research at ISLL

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Jeffrey Woulfe

Rising senior Jeffrey Woulfe was a 2023 summer research fellow under the direction of Assistant Professor Adebanjo Oriade in the Interdisciplinary Science Learning Laboratory. He presented his work at the 2023 Undergraduate Research & Service Scholar Celebratory Symposium on August 10, 2023.

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Poster Abstract

Jeffrey Woulfe Undergraduate Research

“Analysis of Question Order on Student Test Performance in an Introductory Physical Science Course".

As a future teacher, I was very curious as to how I could structure my tests in the future to benefit my students' performance. I used the test scores from previous years of the introductory physical science course, SCEN101, taught by my research advisor Dr. Adebanjo Oriade to determine if there is a correlation between question order and overall student exam performance. Dr. Oriade gave 5 separate versions of a 70 multiple choice question exam, reordering the questions on each form of the exam. The majority of my task was creating a working item analysis Python code to find the difficulty index and discrimination index for each question on each exam. Difficulty index judges how easy a question is by dividing the total number of students that answered the question correctly, by the total number of students that attempted the question. The discrimination index looks at all questions in the exam and judges how well high-scoring students do on a particular question. Having only taken an introductory computer science class, this proved to be the most difficult and time-consuming part of my research. I had to make sure that the code was dynamic to accommodate any number of questions or students. Once my item analysis code was finished, I took the 70-question exam for myself to see what I thought the most difficult questions were. Then using the discrimination and difficulty indices I can judge the differences in the performance of students on the same questions whether they were placed earlier or later on the test. This is also a good reason for students to implement the strategy of skipping more difficult questions and saving them for later, as it is a good test taking strategy so they do not feel discouraged for the rest of the exam.

Ding, Lin, et al. “Evaluating an Electricity and Magnetism Assessment Tool: Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment." Physical Review Physics Education Research, 15 Mar. 2006, journals.aps.org/prper/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.2.010105. ​​

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Rising senior Jeffrey Woulfe was a 2023 summer research fellow under the direction of Assistant Professor Adebanjo Oriade in the Interdisciplinary Science Learning Laboratory.
Interdisciplinary Science Learning Laboratories
 
12/12/2023
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