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NSF Announcement!

May 10-12, 2007.
Washington, D.C.

The Melrose Hotel
2430 Pennsylvania Ave.
(Foggy Bottom Metro)


We believe concept inventories can be critical change agents for transformation of pedagogy and learning in STEM disciplines. The national workshop is intended to cultivate the future development and/or refinement of such instruments.

The national workshop will be held from May 10-12, 2007, in Washington, D.C. Activities during the workshop will be designed to foster greater collaboration between inventory developers and instill the desire to begin new inventories. Topics will be covered in a two-tiered format: large-group activities to highlight successful approaches and methods, followed by small-group sessions to explore opportunities for broadening and adapting these approaches.


  • What is the current state of concept inventory development across the STEM disciplines?
  • What CI's are missing from the current portfolio of CI's?
  • What infrastructural needs (e.g., a national database and strategies for organizing and supporting the ongoing efforts) would facilitate CI development and refinement?
  • How can the results of CI's be disseminated to inform faculty how to utilize CI's to assess their teaching and ultimately change their pedagogical practice?

Outcomes and Deliverables

  • Web site and report that include the following;
    • A roster of the concept inventory community, including one-page summaries
    • Presentations and other resources provided by workshop presenters
    • Findings and recommendations that emerge as a result of the workshop interactions
  • A strategy for developing and dissemination on a national level that will provide continued opportunities for synergy and collaboration among developers and users
  • List of untapped content domains as a guide for future inventory development
  • Presentation or panel discussion at a meeting such as FIE or ASEE on the state of the knowledge and future of Concept Inventories. This presentation will include findings and recommendations that resulted from the workshop interactions. (Please note that an FIE Panel Session has been accepted by the 2007 FIE Program Committee.)
  • Contributions towards a workshop at ASEE 2007 in Honolulu. Session 0430 : Sunday, June 24, 1230 to 1400.

Long-Term Goals

  • Provide the opportunity to create a collaborative national database where concept inventory data can be gathered and analyzed in a common way
  • Provide mechanisms for further development and increasing reliability and validity of concept inventories
  • Enhance communication between concept inventory developers
  • Expand the breadth and number of concept inventory users
  • Make concept inventory use more beneficial to instructors
  • Catalyze discussions about student conceptual understanding


The difficulties which I meet with in order to realise my existence are precisely what awakens and mobilises my activities, my capacities. - Jose Ortega y Gassett

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. - Max Planck


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People - Who are those guys?
Tools - Info on the tests!
Resources - Helpful information! (papers, presentations, links)
Contact - Get involved!


Those who can't do, teach - Anonymous?
Teaching is the highest form of understanding. - Aristotle

Tip o' the Cap

The researchers wish to acknowledge the support provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the organizors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Copyright 2007. Kirk Allen.