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Sports Biomech. 2003 Jul;2(2):267-77.

Development and evaluation of a biomechanics concept inventory.

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California State University-Chico, USA.


To help instructors in evaluating innovations in biomechanics instruction, a standardised test of the key concepts taught in the introductory biomechanics course was developed. The Biomechanics Concept Inventory (BCI) consists of 24 questions that test four prerequisite competencies and eight biomechanics competencies. Three hundred and sixty seven students from ten universities throughout the United States took the test at the beginning and the end of the introductory biomechanics course. Analysis of a sub-sample of the students showed that the BCI was reliable with typical errors in internal consistency and test-retest conditions of 1.4 and 2.0 questions, respectively. Mean pre-test scores (8.5 +/- 2.0) significantly (p < 0.0001) improved to 10.5 +/- 3.2 in the posttest (n = 305). Typical biomechanics students could correctly answer half of the prerequisite questions on the pre-test. Instruction resulted in a mean normalised gain (g) of 13.0% of maximum possible improvement that was consistent with research on traditional instruction in introductory physics courses. It was concluded that the BCI could be an effective tool to evaluate the overall effect of pedagogical strategies on student learning of key biomechanical concepts in the introductory biomechanics course.

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