Mechanics Baseline Test 1995 edition

Textbook Cover

David Hestenes, Malcolm Wells, and Gregg Swackhamer
Publisher: Self Published Works

textbook resources

Textbook Resources

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  • 1: Inventory Question (1)
The Mechanics Baseline Test (MBT), developed by D. Hestenes and M. Wells, should be compared with the Force Concept Inventory (FCI). The MBT is the next step above the FCI in mechanics understanding. Questions on the FCI were designed to be meaningful to students without formal training in mechanics and to elicit their preconceptions about the subject. In contrast, the MBT emphasizes concepts that cannot be grasped without formal knowledge about mechanics. The coverage of basic concepts is quite systematic, although the coverage of Newton's first and third laws is deliberately thin because these concepts are adequately assessed by the FCI. Thus, the two tests are complementary probes for understanding of the most basic Newtonian concepts. Together they give a fairly complete profile of this understanding.

WebAssign offers this assessment at no charge to educators wishing to administer the MBT online for the express purpose of administering the assessment as a complete assignment. The entire 26 item multiple choice assessment is offered here as a single question to ensure proper grading and to protect the integrity of the test. Please do not edit this assessment to extract individual items, provide answers to the items to your students, or use the title "Mechanics Baseline Test" when administering the assessment-such usage is prohibited by our agreement with the authors. The assignment should not be made available to students except during a monitored time period and answers should never be displayed to students. It is recommended that students not be told their pre-test scores to avoid forming pre-conceptions about their ability to learn physics.

If you have adopted WebAssign and would like to administer the MBT as part of your WebAssign course, you can simply add the Mechanics Baseline Test additional resource question collection to your course. WebAssign has also created a pre-made assignment with recommended settings that will allow you to administer the assessment as intended. To use the pre-made assignment, please search for the Mechanics Problem Solving Survey assignment ID 6059433, and simply schedule it to a course you have created. We also strongly recommend that you schedule this assignment as a password-protected, timed assessment using WebAssign's LockDown Browser. To read more about scheduling, please refer to our Instructor Help System: Scheduling Tests.

If you are not currently a WebAssign adopter, but would like to administer the MBT assessment in your course, we are pleased to provide you and your students free access to WebAssign expressly for this purpose. Please contact us to learn more about this exclusive offer.

Ref: David Hestenes and Malcolm Wells, "A Mechanics Baseline Test," The Physics Teacher 30, 159 (1992).

Question Group Key
P - Problem


Question Availability Color Key
BLACK questions are available now
GRAY questions are under development


Group Quantity Questions
Chapter 1: Inventory Question
1.P 1 001
Total 1