Development and Validation of a Physics Achievement Test to Identify Instructor Variables Associated with Students’ Physics Academic Performance

Wilfredo T. Lacambra


One of the most common ways of detecting whether an improvement is achieved by an education institution is through measuring the students’ achievement in a test. Testing is generally thought of as a means of assessing the knowledge and skills students have acquired through learning (Du-chastel and Nungester, 1998). Test results, besides assisting professors and administrators in making decisions concerning their students, provide vital information that could be the basis for the following: (a) assigning final course grade to a student; (b) distinguishing students’ strengths and weaknesses in a particular subject; (c) assessing student performance in class as a whole; and (d) improving teaching methods or techniques in carrying out a teacher’s day-to-day lessons; (e) assessing teachers’ needs in a certain program or curriculum; (f) allowing a teacher to make decisions at the beginning, and at the end of instruction; (g) evaluating the effectiveness of specific teaching methods; (h) guiding the administrators on the kind of in-service, trainings, seminars, workshops and the like that would suit the teachers’ needs; and (i) serving as one of the criteria upon which to evaluate a certain curriculum. Knowing the students’ achievement more or less determines the kind of instructors the school has. The Physics performance of Engineering students in the test is affected and found significantly by the students’ variables: age, civil status, course schedule, sponsorship, employment status, Grade Point Average (GPA) in the pre-requisite subjects in basic Mathematics courses (Algebra and Trigonometry), and high school background in Physics. University Physics is always part of the Engineering program, and this needs complete concentration, time and patience of the students. As teachers always remember the principle, which is, individual differences among the students. They are unique in abilities, interest, needs and experiences. Students should be treated according to their needs and interests, they must be assisted into developing proper attitudes towards this course and they must be grouped according to their ability and develop each group up to the optimum

Keywords: Academic Performance of Engineering Students, Achievement Test in Physics

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