Scientific Reasoning & Physics Conceptual Gains


For the 98 students in the earlier data set, we saw a significant correlation between the reasoning test scores and the normalized gains on the FCI. These students were in 6 different courses, with 4 different instructors, using different interactive techniques.


There is a significant correlation between the scientific reasoning scores and gains shown on the FCI (r=0.54, p<0.0001).1


Among the various sections of the Lawson Test, proportional reasoning showed the strongest correlation with FCI gains (r=0.45, p<0.0001).


Students who scored in the lowest quartile on the LT had an average FCI gain of 0.26, while those in the highest quartile had an average gain of 0.67.



  1. V. Coletta and J. Phillips, Interpreting FCI Scores: Normalized Gain, Pre-instruction Scores, & Scientific Reasoning Ability, Am. J. Phys., accepted for publication