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

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Using Analogical Problem Solving to Learn about Friction
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Monday, Aug.1
  Time: 8:00 PM -8:45 PM
  Author: ShihYin Lin, University of Pittsburgh
  Co-Author(s): Chandralekha Singh
  Abstract: Research suggests many students have the notion that the magnitude of the static frictional force is always equal to its maximum value. In this study, we examine introductory students' ability to learn from analogical problem solving between two problems that are similar in the application of physics principle (Newton's second law) but one problem involves friction which often triggers the misleading notion. Students from algebra- and calculus-based introductory physics courses were asked in a quiz to take advantage of what they learned from a solved problem provided, which was about tension in a rope, to solve another problem involving friction. To help students process through the analogy deeply and contemplate the applicability of associating the frictional force with its maximum value, students in different recitation classrooms received different scaffolding. We will discuss the types of scaffolding support that were effective in helping students learn these concepts. Supported by NSF.
  Footnotes: None
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