Developing Instruments to Assess First-year Calculus and Physics Mechanics Skills needed for a Sophomore Statics and Dynamics Course Conference Paper uri icon


  • Anecdotally, engineering faculty members complain students taking sophomore engineering science courses are not prepared with respect to mathematics and mechanics-based physics. However, evidence has rarely been systematically collected and analyzed to determine the veracity of these assertions. Therefore, the paper intends to address two questions: • With respect to first-year mathematics and first-year physics mechanics knowledge, what do engineering faculty members expect students to know and be able to do when they begin a sophomore statics and dynamics course? • To what extent do students satisfy these expectations? To address these questions, the following steps were taken. First, engineering faculty members who taught a sophomore statics and dynamics course at Texas A&M University were asked for problems involving first-year mathematics and physics mechanics they thought students should be able to solve entering the course. Learning outcomes were abstracted, and two instruments were developed and administered near the beginning of the statics and dynamics course. After administering the instruments and analyzing results, faculty members have a better idea of the background of their students. Furthermore, there is evidence to examine the extent to which students are prepared in first-year mathematics and physics mechanics to begin a core engineering science course. © 2011 IEEE.

author list (cited authors)

  • Shryock, K. J., Srinivasa, A. R., & Froyd, J. E.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • October 2011