Assessing ITP Students' Validating Ability: Framing, Developing and Validating a Pilot Assessment




Fagan, Joshua B.

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In this paper I discuss the process of creating a closed-form multiple-choice assessment of students’ ability to validate mathematical proofs at the introduction to proof (ITP) level. This process involved: (1) creating and validating a cohesive framework of common validity issues (CVI) in proof writing as a basis for assessment creation through a mathematician survey (N=228) and two focus groups (N=4 & N=7); (2) creating and piloting an open version of the assessment as a means to create distractors for the closed assessment; (3) creating, piloting (N=187) and analyzing the results from the closed form assessment; and (4) conducting interviews with student participants after the pilot to determine the characteristics of the process that students took during the pilot. The results of the processes offer an assessment that, with some refinement, can authentically measure students’ ability to validate mathematical arguments from a number of perspectives in the ITP setting.



Proof, Validating, Research assessment development, Mathematical practice


Fagan, J. B. (2019). <i>Assessing ITP students' validating ability: Framing, developing and validating a pilot assessment</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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