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2010 Summer Meeting

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

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Assessing Student's Ability to Solve Textbook-Style Problems
  Location: SS Ballroom ABC
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 2:20 PM -2:30 PM
  Author: Jeffrey Marx, McDaniel College
  Co-Author(s): Karen Cummings
  Abstract: Development of student' problem solving ability is commonly cited as one of the primary goals in introductory physics courses. However, there is no broadly agreed upon definition of what is meant by "problem solving". Most physicists ultimate want students to be able to successfully apply a logical yet flexible approach to solving real world problems significantly different from any they have seen before. Still, many introductory instructors are first and foremost concerned with how successfully and thoughtfully students solve standard textbook‑style problems. We have developed a 13‑item survey to help assess students' abilities at solving textbook‑style problems. In the Fall semesters of 2009 and 2010, we beta‑tested this instrument on introductory physics students (pre‑instruction and post‑instruction) at several institutes and on a pool of "experts." In this talk, we will present details of the survey instrument, its administration, and some results from our beta testing.
  Footnotes: None
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