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2010 Summer Meeting

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

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SPS08:

Addressing Students' Math Deficiencies in Introductory Physics with Online Tutorials
  Location: TBA
  Date: Sunday, Jul.31
  Time: 8:00 PM -10:00 PM
  Author: Cameron Zahedi, University of Georgia
706-542-4023, cszahedi@uga.edu
  Co-Author(s): Craig C. Wiegert , Daniel Seaton
  Abstract: Introductory physics courses are mathematically demanding, even those for non-physics science majors. Students must become adept at solving a wide variety of quantitative problems. However, even students with calculus experience often lack facility with basic pre-calculus skills. A large contributing factor to the problem is the students' generally poor retention of working math skills, but they may also be struggling to transfer their math knowledge to unfamiliar problem domains. In either case, these students should benefit from early intervention that continues to scaffold throughout the term. We report on our efforts to create math-related, online formative assessment modules for first-semester introductory physics. These online tutorials target specific mathematical skills that are essential to success in physics, and are designed to progress from a purely math-centered review of each basic skill, to problems of increasing generality and complexity, and ultimately toward a transfer of these skills to physics problem domains.
  Footnotes: Sponsored by Craig Wiegert.
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