aapt_program_final_sm13 - page 105

July 13–17, 2013
Wednesday morning
PST2C05: 8:30-9:15 a.m. Developing Biologically Relevant
Mathematical Competence in Introductory Physics
Poster – Julia S. Gouvea,* University of Maryland, College Park, 082 Re-
gents Drive, College Park, MD 20742;
Chandra Turpen, Vashti Sawtelle, Joe Redish, University of Maryland,
College Park
Quantitative skills and mathematical reasoning are considered central to
introductory physics. Increasingly, physics is seen as a place where students
can begin to develop skills that are critical for modern biology such as
using mathematical representations to organize conceptual understanding,
reasoning about parametric dependence and limiting cases, understanding
the implications of units as dimensions, and making and justifying quan-
titative estimations. In our introductory physics course for life science ma-
jors our aim is to help students see the relevance and utility of mathemati-
cal reasoning. We do so by explicitly integrating biology examples into the
course and by emphasizing how math can be used to deepen understand-
ing. In this poster we present an analysis of student reactions to math in
this course and discuss the challenges and opportunities of developing
biologically relevant mathematical competence in introductory physics.
*Sponsored by Joe Redish
PST2C06: 9:15-10 a.m. NEXUS/Physics: Rethinking Physics for
Biology and Premed Students
Poster – Edward F. Redish, University of Maryland, Department of Physics,
College Park, MD 20742-4111;
Vashti Sawtelle, Chandra Turpen, Benjamin Dreyfus, Benjamin Geller,
University of Maryland
Physicists, biologists, and science education specialists at the University
of Maryland are redesigning Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences as
part of the National Experiment on Undergraduate Science (NEXUS).
Our objective is to create a course in which the connections between
physics and biology feel authentic to students and disciplinary experts and
that emphasizes skills that are the goal of traditional physics instruction:
symbolic reasoning, blending mathematical and qualitative thinking,
abstraction to the level of toy models to build intuitions, and order-of-
magnitude estimation. The content includes topics relevant to biology, such
as diffusion, fluid dynamics, and chemical binding. The pedagogy focuses
on creating opportunities for students to develop a coherent understanding
of core concepts and competencies. These changes are coordinating with
reforms in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, so that learning physics
supports and is supported by learning in other science classes.
1. Supported by HHMI and the US NSF.
PST2C07: 8:30-9:15 a.m. Reducing Disciplinary Barriers to
Poster – Aseem Talukdar, Madisonville Community College, 2000 College
Drive, Madisonville, KY 42431;
John Lowbridge, Mike Shifflett, Madisonville Community College
Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) general
education competencies emphasize that students should be able to make
connections among disciplines, also to demonstrate an awareness of the
relationship of the individual to their biological and physical environment.
We will report on our attempt to address these goals by connecting as-
tronomy, chemistry, and physics, through a common fundamental concept,
introducing the implications and applications of the knowledge in all three
realms in each of the classes.
PST2C08: 9:15-10 a.m. A Diagram Is Valuable Despite the
Choice of a More Mathematical Approach to Problem
Poster – Alexandru Maries, University of Pittsburgh, 5813 Bartlett St., Pitts-
burgh, PA 15217;
Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh
A major focus while helping introductory physics students learn problem
solving is to help them appreciate that drawing diagrams facilitates prob-
lem solution. We conducted an investigation in which 118 students in an
algebra-based introductory physics course were subjected to two different
interventions during problem solving in recitation quizzes throughout
the semester. They were either (1) asked to solve problems in which the
diagrams were drawn for them or (2) explicitly told to draw a diagram. A
comparison group was not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We
present results for a problem involving standing waves in tubes that can be
solved using two different methods, one involving a diagrammatic repre-
sentation and another involving mathematical manipulation of equations.
Interviews were also conducted to better understand student difficulties
related to this problem. One major finding is that a good diagram can be
a powerful tool for successful problem solving even if students mainly
employ a mathematical approach to solving the problem.
*This work is supported by the National Science Foundation
PST2C09: 8:30-9:15 a.m. A Framework of Attentional Cueing in
Physics Problem Solving*
Poster – Amy Rouinfar, Kansas State University, Department of Physics, 116
Cardwell Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506;
Jeffrey Murray, Adam M. Larson, Lester C. Loschky, N. Sanjay Rebello,
Kansas State University
Attentional cues overlaid on diagrams and animations can help students
attend to the relevant areas and facilitate problem solving. We propose
a framework of attentional cueing for solving physics problems. Our
framework amalgamates concepts from Representational Change Theory
(Ohlsson, 1992) and Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer, 2001) along
with the framework for visual cueing (de Koning, et. al., 2009). To validate
our framework we conducted 24 individual interviews with students
enrolled in a conceptual physics course. Students worked through a series
of introductory physics problems containing a diagram. Students provided
a verbal answer and explanation to each problem and received correctness
feedback. If incorrect, they were provided with a series of visual cues on
the training problems which became increasingly explicit. We map data
from the interviews onto our proposed framework and find evidence sup-
porting the framework.
*This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant 1138697 as
well as the KSU NSF GK-12 Program under grant NSF DGE-0841414.
PST2C10: 9:15-10 a.m. A New Framework for Computer
Coaching of Problem Solving*
Poster – Evan Frodermann, University of Minnesota, 116 Church St. S.E.,
Minneapolis, MN 55455;
Ken Heller, Leon Hsu, Kristin Crouse, University of Minnesota
The physics education research (PER) group at the University of Minnesota
has been developing online computer programs intended to aid students
in developing problem-solving skills by coaching them in the use of an
expert-like problem-solving framework. An early version was tested in a
large calculus based introductory physics class and judged to be helpful
by students. The PER group is now working on a second generation of
coaches which is more flexible for both students and instructors. The new
coaches will allow students to make the decisions critical to problem solv-
ing in a non-linear path, more closely resembling the actual way they solve
problems. It will also allow instructors without any programming experi-
ence to modify both the structure and content of existing coaches and to
create new ones. In this poster we will demonstrate the new interface and
discuss the rationale behind its design.
*This work is supported by NSF DUE-1226197.
PST2C11: 8:30-9:15 a.m. Effect of Algebraic Formula Relevance
and Salience on Problem Solving
Poster – Rebecca Rosenblatt, Illinois State University, 218 Willard Ave.,
Bloomington, IL 61701;
We report results from a study testing the effect of algebraic formulas’
relevance and salience on physics problem solving. Students were given
three progressively more difficult questions about pendulums (period,
angular velocity, and string tension). Students were randomly assigned to
I...,95,96,97,98,99,100,101,102,103,104 106,107,108,109,110,111,112,113,114,115,...150
Powered by FlippingBook