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Development of a Concept Inventory to Assess Students’ Understanding and Reasoning Difficulties about the Properties and Formation of Stars
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Through the use of open-ended surveys, students’ ideas about the properties and formation of stars were investigated. It was determined that, although students often know some basic properties of stars, their understanding lacks detail about fundamental issues such as nuclear fusion. These results led to the development and validation of the StarProperties Concept Inventory (SPCI), which can be used as a pretest∕posttest to determine students’ growth in this content area. For participating ASTRO 101 courses, the average pretest score on the SPCI was about 31%, while the average posttest score was 51%.
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