Testing and Validation of the Signals and Systems Concept Inventory

Kathleen E. Wage, John R. Buck, Thad B. Welch, and Cameron H. G. Wright

The Continuous-Time Signals and Systems Concept Inventory (CT SSCI) is a 25-question multiple-choice exam designed to measure students' understanding of core concepts taught in undergraduate linear systems courses. The CT SSCI questions emphasize conceptual understanding over computational skills. As a new assessment instrument, the CT SSCI is being carefully tested to establish its validity. This paper reports results from the first year of an ongoing study testing the CT SSCI at four campuses. The data collected from 174 students in undergraduate linear systems courses contain no evidence of racial or gender biases in the CT SSCI. GPA is found to be the strongest predictor of student performance. The normalized gain between pre-test and post-test in these courses is consistent with that found for the Force Concept Inventory for lecture format courses.

© 2002 IEEE. The article (PDF) appeared in Proceedings of 2nd IEEE Signal Processing Education Workshop, Session 4.6, pp. 1-6, October 2002. This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

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