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2010 Summer Meeting

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

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Teaching Assistants' Reasons for the Design of Problem Solutions for Introductory Physics: Findings
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 8:40 AM -8:50 AM
  Author: Shih-Yin Lin, University of Pittsburgh
  Co-Author(s): Chandralekha Singh , William Mamudi , Charles Henderson , Edit Yerushalmi
  Abstract: As part of a larger study to understand how instructors make teaching decisions, we investigated how graduate teaching assistants (TA's) perceive features of written problem solutions. TAs are an important population to understand; they often provide significant instruction and they also represent the pool of future physics faculty. Twenty-four first-year graduate TA's enrolled in a training course were provided with different instructor solutions for the same physics problem and asked to discuss their preferences for prominent solution features. Preliminary findings reveal that providing a schematic visualization of the problem, listing knowns/unknowns, and explaining reasoning in explicit words were the most valued features. Preferences for different features were sometimes in conflict with each other. For example, while the TA's valued solutions where reasoning was explicitly explained, they also valued concise solution. We'll present the reasons behind these preferences and discuss the implications for the professional development of physics TA's.
  Footnotes: None
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