In this paper, we describe the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation, a research-based, multiple-choice assessment of student conceptual understanding of Newton’s Laws of Motion. We discuss a subset of the questions in detail, and give evidence for their validity. As examples of the application of this test, we first present data which examine student learning of dynamics concepts in traditional introductory physics courses. Then we present results in courses where research-based active learning strategies are supported by the use of microcomputer-based (MBL) tools. These include (1) Tools for Scientific Thinking Motion and Force and RealTime Physics Mechanics laboratory curricula, and (2) microcomputer-based Interactive Lecture Demonstrations. In both cases, there is strong evidence, based on the test, of significantly improved conceptual learning.

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