Toward a valid instrument for measuring physics quantitative literacy

Trevor I. Smith, Philip Eaton, Suzanne White Brahmia, Alexis Olsho, Charlotte Zimmerman, Andrew Boudreaux

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


We have developed the Physics Inventory of Quantitative Literacy (PIQL) as a tool to measure students’ quantitative literacy in the context of introductory physics topics. We present the results from various quantitative analyses used to establish the validity of both the individual items and the PIQL as a whole. We show how examining the results from classical test theory analyses, factor analysis, and item response curves informed decisions regarding the inclusion, removal, or modification of items. We also discuss how the choice to include multiple-choice/multiple-response items has informed both our choices for analyses and the interpretations of their results. We are confident that the most recent version of the PIQL is a valid and reliable instrument for measuring students’ physics quantitative literacy in calculus-based introductory physics courses at our primary research site. More data are needed to establish its validity for use at other institutions and in other courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhysics Education Research Conference, PERC 2020
EditorsSteven Wolf, Michael Bennett, Brian Frank
PublisherAmerican Association of Physics Teachers
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781931024372
StatePublished - 2020
EventPhysics Education Research Conference, PERC 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 22 2020Jul 23 2020

Publication series

NamePhysics Education Research Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1539-9028
ISSN (Electronic)2377-2379


ConferencePhysics Education Research Conference, PERC 2020
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward a valid instrument for measuring physics quantitative literacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this