AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Paper Type: Poster
  Title: Development of a Wave Concept Survey
  Meeting: 2006 AAPT Summer Meeting: Syracuse, NY
  Location: Schine Panasci Lounge
  Date: Tuesday, July 25
  Time: 1:00PM
  Author: Alvin Rosenthal, Western Michigan University
269-387-4952, alvin.rosenthal@wmich.edu
  Co-Author(s): Charles Henderson, Drew Isola, David Schuster
  Abstract: To accommodate the greater amount of time required for PER-motivated instruction, the curriculum of the first two semesters of our introductory calculus-based physics sequence has been pared down and the topics of waves and optics have been placed into a third semester course. We are currently in the process of developing an instrument suitable for monitoring conceptual development in this course. The pilot version of the wave concept survey contains twenty multiple-choice items covering the following topics: basic wave kinematics; superposition; interference; standing waves; transmission and reflection. We will describe the design of this instrument, compare it with others already in circulation(1), and show the first results of its use. Not surprisingly, performance on the Wave Concept Survey suggests that students have considerable conceptual difficulty even after one semester of instruction with an emphasis on fundamental physics. Implications for instruction will be discussed.
  Footnotes: None

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