The Physics Assessment and Study Site – An online means to assessing and maintaining course prerequisites
A common and obvious goal of education is student success in a selected course. From an instructional standpoint, two important factors in determining this success. Firstly, whether the student possesses the appropriate and necessary prerequisite skills required by the course and secondly maintains those skills if the selected course does not immediately follow the prerequisite course or courses. As a means of addressing these two factors in physics education, an online Physics Assessment and Study Site (PASS) website consisting of assessment instruments and study areas was developed. More specifically, the PASS website was designed with the following objectives - 1) to provide a mathematics and a physics assessment via an online examination of the student’s required prerequisite skills, 2) to provide remediation as indicated by the assessments via links to websites study areas containing such items as textual materials, simulations, interactive problem solving, and virtual laboratories, and 3) to investigate the nature of the relationship between the existing level of prerequisite skills and course success. This paper describes the structure and use of the PASS website, including the design, scoring, and use of the mathematics and physics assessment instruments to determine what remediation is required and the categories and samples of the online materials that comprise the study areas. In addition, preliminary information available on the relationship between prerequisite skills and course success will be presented in the paper, along with the use of the PASS website as a teaching aide.