The project is a collaborative effort involving engineering education faculty and learning scientists from Purdue University, Texas A&M University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Colorado School of Mines, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. It is focused on creating a repository of concept inventories in engineering education (ciHUB ) and on developing a community of users, developers, and researchers. Concept inventories measure students' conceptual understanding and enable instructors to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional approaches. The project is building on a strong foundation of existing concept inventories development and research and on a proven HUB cyberinfrastructure (the nanoHUB). The project goals are (1) to leverage a unique cyberinfrastructure to migrate existing concept inventories to a single accessible location and support a collaborative community of faculty members and students; (2) to engage and equip a growing community of active users of concept inventories in targeted fundamental engineering courses; and (3) to conduct research to guide concept inventory refinement and community implementation. The project has a National Review and Evaluation Board that meets annually to assess progress and provide formative feedback and it uses an external evaluator along with assessment staff in Purdue's learning center to gather data indicating progress toward the expected outcomes. Faculty development activities, advertisements in Prism magazine, a connection with a prominent publisher, links with the NSDL, journal articles, conference presentations, and the ciHUB itself are being used to expand the number of users and developers and to make the materials and results available. Broader impacts include the extensive dissemination of project products, faculty professional development activities, and a focused effort to engage faculty members from minority serving institutions.

Project Report

The site and virtual community of grew exponentially and assisted in the assessment of student learning through access of faculty and researchers from all around the world. At the end of the grant, almost 15,000 users had either used the site as an instructor or a student of a course. The team has worked to add more faculty training opportunities, including the most recent acceptance into the Second Generation Chautauqua Courses, which will help to disseminate the instruments as well as the philosophy of assessment-led instruction and white papers on developing concept inventories as well as obtaining and understanding their validity. Research has resulted in guidelines on how to develop and implement a better concept inventory in a shorter amount of time. Educating users as to the benefits and improvements that can occur when critically considering foundational concepts has been an outcome of this funding. Finally, the site continues to work with others who are interested in using the distribution mechanism for new assessments. The major goals of the project were to Develop a web-based collaborative environment that supports the hosting of Concept Inventories within the STEM disciplines. Develop appropriate services to facilitate a growing community of CI developers, researchers, faculty and student users. Specific Objectives: Increase the number of users of the ciHUB site. Improve usability of site based on user feedback. Expand CIs housed at the hub. Disseminate information concerning the availability and use of the ciHUB. The ciHUB is a web-based collaboration environment that supports the hosting of Concept Inventories within the STEM disciplines and a number of other services to facilitate a growing community of CI developers, researchers, and faculty and student users. The official ciHUB website ( go-live date was in August of 2011. The site supported eleven (11) CIs (originally proposed – Dynamics, Force Concept Inventory, Heat Transfer, Heat and Energy, Materials, Statics, Statistics, Thermal, and Thermodynamics and Fluids; new – Chemistry Concept Inventory and Conceptual Inventory of Natural Selection), two more than were originally proposed. We are committed to adding two (2) additional CIs as a result of our partnership with the Biology community. In addition, we continue to receive requests to host other CIs from developers in engineering and well as the sciences and have most recently agreed to assist with a newly funded NSF RCN-UBE grant, entitled "Assessment of Competence in Experimental Design (ACED-Bio)". To consider the impact that ciHUB had on our community, analytics of usage are presented. In the three year life of the ciHUB site, almost 15,000 users have registered as faculty, researchers, or students. The eleven concept inventories were used 891 times by 554 faculty from 373 unique institutions from all over the world. Over 14,000 students registered to take one or more inventory over this period of time. The Statics Concept Inventory (CATS) remains the highest utilized inventory within engineering having had over 350 deployments of the instrument in courses over the three years of it residing on the ciHUB. Data displays increasing deployment from the time of launch of August 2011 to the one-year review in 2012 to this year’s data in November of 2014 are included in this report. Figure 1 indicates the growth curve of registered ciHUB users from the launch date to current. Table 1 summarizes the cumulative number of concept inventory deployments by subject area. To better understand the impact on dissemination is having on our community, we compared the number of user accounts created on to other HUBs for the same period of time. Table 2 includes the overall data indicating percent growth over the past year. As can be seen, number of users and students has grown exponentially with numbers of faculty and institutions growing linearly. As can be seen in Table 3 had approximately 3 times more users during its first year of operation than the next closest HUB ( Table 4 shows a slightly different metric with the number of students taking each inventory. This is an indication that some courses are very large in comparison to others, i.e. Statics and Dynamics versus Statistics. In addition, ciHUB analytics suggests visitors to the site include both domestic and international users (see Fig. 2 for a year to year geographical growth comparison based on number and size of the red pins).

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
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Program Officer
Don L. Millard
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Purdue University
West Lafayette
United States
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