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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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Assessing Course-Integrated Problem Comparisons Activities Using Similarity Ratings Surveys
  Location: HC 3023 & 3023A
  Date: Monday, Aug.1
  Time: 8:30 AM -8:40 AM
  Author: Frances Mateycik, Penn State Altoona
  Co-Author(s): Kendra E. Sheaffer
  Abstract: Students in an algebra-based physics course were required to complete a compare and contrast activity each week. The treatment was used to examine whether direct problem comparisons are useful for facilitating student awareness of physical, deep-structure problem characteristics. Students were expected to write detailed arguments as to how two problems of their own selection from the weekly homework assignment were similar and different from one another. Handwritten feedback was offered after each assignment, and students were deducted points if their responses were considered too vague. Pre- and post-treatment similarity ratings surveys were used to evaluate the emphasis students placed on deep-structure. The survey required students to rate the similarities between eight pairs of problems of varying similarity, and write a description that supported their numerical rating. This talk will summarize student survey responses before and after treatment, and compare any trends with previous semesters where no immediate feedback was offered.
  Footnotes: None
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