Administering concept inventories online
AMTA offers one-year subscriptions to its Secure Online Assessment Repository (SOAR) for $20. This provides the subscriber with access to the FCI, ABCC, BCI, CTSR, BECI, BEMA, or FMCE.
To subscribe to SOAR, complete the form below — be sure to scroll to the bottom of the form and click the “submit” button — and then pay the subscription fee using the PayPal button below the form.
Use the button below to pay for your one-year subscription to SOAR:
Another option for teachers who wish to administer the FCI and MBT online is
WebAssign (http://webassign.net) This requires a paid membership and is mostly used by instructors whose institution already use WebAssign.
When you administer a concept inventory online you must use a lockdown browser. (Respondus lockdown browser is an example that works with most online test software/platforms.) Lockdown browsers prevent students from taking screenshots, accessing email, etc. (if you or your institution use online tests frequently, you may want to look into this option for all online assessments).
Posting FCI or MBT in other electronic format:
Instructors who wish to use either of these assessments in electronic format other than those mentioned above must comply with the following guidelines.
Alternative platforms must be “field proven” and used by mainstream educational organizations. If you use another platform, such as Blackboard, Moodle, etc., ensure that your IT department uses all appropriate security measures to prevent hacking into the system.
- In any other platform, each student must have an individual login that cannot be used by another.
- Paginate the assessment so the problem order and layout matches those on the paper version.
- Do not allow the testing software to randomize either the problem order or the answer order.
The assessment must be taken under supervision. This means:
Administer the test in a single classroom or computer lab with a teacher/professional present who understands the need to keep the assessment secure.
- If students request scratch paper (a good test taking skill), be sure to provide only one sheet and collect them all at the end of the time period.
- Do not allow students access to cameras, cell phones, email, nor to flash drives or any other removable storage while they are taking this assessment.
- If a class size is large enough that the instructor is not familiar with all the students, take the same steps your institution uses to insure the identity of students for finals and other exams (e.g. requiring ID).
Additional supervision guidelines:
- The assessment may not be accessible to students outside of the supervised period. If you cannot ensure that access outside of class time is forbidden then you may not put the FCI or MBT into your online platform.
Students must have a limited time to access the assessment. In order to ensure this, complete at least two of the following steps:
Change the password after each class.
- Limit the exact hours each individual student can access to their time in class.
- Set your software so students can only access the test once.
Other time limit suggestions:
- The suggested time limit for each of these assessments is 45 minutes.
- In the case of students with documented special needs who are entitled to extra time, you can adjust the above guidelines to accommodate them, but these accommodations must not allow other students to access the assessment outside of class time. If your qualified student(s) will be taking/completing the test in another room, be sure that the supervisor of that rooms understands the importance of security for this assessment.
- Do not identify either of these assessments by name. Instead, use “Mechanics Concepts Pre-test,” “Assessment of Basic Physics Knowledge” or something similar.
- Do not tell students their individual scores, nor discuss the questions with them. (Remind them that there will be plenty of similar problems during the semester).
- Stress that this assessment is designed to evaluate the instructor and the instructor’s use of curriculum, not the strength of any individual student.