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Background – It can be difficult to differentiate the effects of curriculum and instructional changes from differences in student preparation and capabilities. Purpose – In this work we will determine whether a test over prerequisite material from Statics and Calculus can be useful in predicting performance in Mechanics of Materials courses.
Method –This “pre-test” involves the application of concepts and knowledge through problem solving rather than multiple-choice questions alone. This pre-test was administered to 692 students in 19 sections taught by three different instructors over four years at Wichita State University.
Conclusions – Results show that pre-test scores given at the beginning of the semester correlate reasonably well with the semester grade point where the Pearson correlation coefficient was +0.52. Students who earned a semester grade of an A averaged 87.9% on the pre-test, B students averaged 79.7% on the pre-test, C students averaged 71.2% on the pre-test, D students averaged 65.5% and students who failed or withdrew averaged 54.9%.






South Dakota State University


© American Society for Engineering Education, 2020. Posted with permission.


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