Electronic tests for self assessment in the undergraduate physics course
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Traditionally the German system of higher education does not include midterms in the assessment; students are assessed only by one final examination. Consequently students receive no formal feedback during the study of their courses. This paper presents a computer based test program which was developed to address this lack of feedback on students' progress. These tests allow students to assess their individual progress in the undergraduate physics course by electronic tests for self-evaluation. The tests are intended to diagnose deficiencies and to foster self-directed learning. The pilot version of a ’physics entry test’ for beginning students is available in German and English. A platform independent version is available on the internet.The tests are designed in multiple-choice-format; no time constraints apply. In progress are follow-up tests covering the topics 'oscillations' and 'heat and thermodynamics'. These topics are part of the curriculum in any introductory physics course in engineering, covering about four to five weeks of instruction.