The development of formative assessment probes for optics education

Erin F.C. Dokter, Stephen M. Pompea, Robert T. Sparks, Constance E. Walker

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

5 Scopus citations


Research exploring students' knowledge of optics from elementary through college has revealed that many concepts can be difficult for students to grasp. This can be the case particularly with fundamental concepts, such as the nature of light, how light interacts with matter, and how light behaves in optical systems. The use of formative assessment probes (low-stakes questions posed to students before instruction or in real-time in the classroom) can inform instructors about student background knowledge, and can also be used as they progress through learning in class. By understanding what students know prior to instruction, and how well they are learning in real-time, instruction can be designed and modified in order to encourage the development of scientifically-accurate knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptics Education and Outreach
StatePublished - 2010
EventOptics Education and Outreach - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2010Aug 1 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptics Education and Outreach
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Assessment
  • Optical concepts
  • Optics education
  • Pedagogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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