
CB:

PER: Student Reasoning I

Location:

HC 3023 & 3023A 
Date:

Monday, Aug.01 
Time:

6:30PM  7:50PM

Presider:

Stamatis Vokos,

CoPresiders(s):

None

Equipment:

N/A



CB01:

Student Reasoning about Graphical Representations of Definite Integrals

Location:

HC 3023 & 3023A 
Date:

Monday, Aug.01 
Time:

6:30PM  6:40PM

Author:

Rabindra R. Bajracharya
Physics Department, University of Maine
2076029860, ab_study@yahoo.com

CoAuthor(s):

John R. Thompson, Thomas Wemyss

Abstract:

Physics students are expected to apply the mathematics learned in their mathematics courses to physics concepts and problems. Few PER studies have distinguished between difficulties students have with physics concepts and those with either mathematics concepts, application of those concepts, or the representations used to connect the math and the physics. We are conducting empirical studies of student responses to mathematics questions dealing with graphical representations of (singlevariable) integration. Reasoning in written responses could roughly be put into three major categories related to particular features of the graphs: area under the curve, position of the function, and shape of the curve. In subsequent individual interviews, we varied representational features to explore the depth and breadth of the contextual nature of student reasoning, with an emphasis on negative integrals. Results suggest an incomplete understanding of the criteria that determine the sign of a definite integral.

Footnotes:

None



CB02:

Expanding the FCI to Concepts of EnergyWork, Momentum, and Rotational Dynamics

Location:

HC 3023 & 3023A 
Date:

Monday, Aug.01 
Time:

6:40PM  6:50PM

Author:

Alex Chediak, California Baptist University
9513434912, achediak@calbaptist.edu

CoAuthor(s):

Katrina Hay, Carolina Ilie, H. Trevor JohnsonSteigelman

Abstract:

The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) has deservedly become a widely accepted assessment tool. The metric "normalized gain" can be used to evaluate conceptual mastery in a high school, college, or universitylevel mechanics course. Left out of this analysis, however, is student mastery of other physics concepts typically presented in the same course. For example, conservation of energy and momentum, as well as rotational motion, receive virtually no coverage on the FCI (or, for that matter, the Mechanics Baseline Test). The authors will present a revised assessment tool, one that incorporates the strengths of the FCI, but also assesses these other mechanicsrelated concepts. Our tool will preserve the straightforward multiplechoice format of the FCI. Ten additional questions have been written, in part inspired by material from the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington and in part inspired by the authors' own experiences with common student misperceptions.

Footnotes:

None



CB03:

The Impact of Virtual Experiments on Student Reasoning in Physics

Location:

HC 3023 & 3023A 
Date:

Monday, Aug.01 
Time:

6:50PM  7:00PM

Author:

Jiawu Fan, Beijing Normal University
6142922450, wojiaofjw@yahoo.com.cn

CoAuthor(s):

Shaona Zhou, Chunhui Du, Jing Han, Lei Bao

Abstract:

Using computer technology, we develop a virtual reality (VR) platform that supports interactive physics activities. We use the platform to help students conduct guided explorations to learning physics concepts and reasoning. A teaching experiment with two random selected groups of students was conducted. Students were asked to complete a onehour exploration on one dimensional motion (1D motion) and circular motion. Using a crosscontrolled design, we find that students doing virtual experiments outperform their peers doing paperbased problem solving. Supported in part by NIH Award RC1RR028402 and NSF Awards DUE0633473 and DUE1044724

Footnotes:

None



CB04:

Probing Student Understanding with Alternative Questioning Strategies

Location:

HC 3023 & 3023A 
Date:

Monday, Aug.01 
Time:

7:00PM  7:10PM

Author:

Jeffrey M. Hawkins, The University of Maine
2075706067, jeffrey.hawkins@maine.edu

CoAuthor(s):

Brian W. Frank, John R Thompson, Michael C Wittmann, Thomas M Wemyss

Abstract:

Common research methodology uses research tasks that ask students to identify a correct answer and justify their answer choice. We propose expanding the array of research tasks to access different knowledge that students might have. By asking students to discuss answers they may not have chosen naturally, we can investigate students' abilities to explain something that is already established or to disprove an incorrect response. The results of these research tasks also provide us with information about how students' responses vary across the different tasks. We discuss three underused question types and their possible benefits. Additionally, we present results from data gathered using these question types and contrast these with results gathered using a traditional question.

Footnotes:

None



CB05:

Students' Contradictory Commitments in Damped Harmonic Motion Problems

Location:

HC 3023 & 3023A 
Date:

Monday, Aug.01 
Time:

7:10PM  7:20PM

Author:

Adam Kaczynski, The University of Maine
9065534232, A.Kaczynski@gmail.com

CoAuthor(s):

Michael C. Wittmann

Abstract:

Students working through the Intermediate Mechanics Tutorials on damped harmonic motion are expected to use mathematical, graphical, and physical reasoning, as well as their intuitions. We observe that students remain committed to assumptions they bring to the problem, not using the instructional resources provided by the tutorials. We also observe moments when commitment to an assumption in, for example, mathematical reasoning conflicts with a conclusion found through physical reasoning. We will discuss the effect of multiple commitments on students' classroom discussion and the way that students reconcile contradictory commitments and conclusions.

Footnotes:

None



CB06:

How Students' Conceptual Structure Relates to their Sophistication of Reasoning

Location:

HC 3023 & 3023A 
Date:

Monday, Aug.01 
Time:

7:20PM  7:30PM

Author:

Mojgan Matloob haghanikar, Kansas State University
7855327167, mojgan@phys.ksu.edu

CoAuthor(s):

Sytil Murphy, Dean Zollman

Abstract:

While investigating the impact of interactive learning strategies on preservice elementary science teachers, we devised openended content questions focusing on the application of learned concepts to new contexts. We designed a protocol to evaluate students' responses through different lenses. First, we classified concepts into three types: descriptive, hypothetical, and theoretical [1], and categorized the level of abstraction of the responses in terms of the types of concepts and the links between them [2]. Second, we devised a rubric based on Bloom's revised taxonomy [3] with seven traits (both knowledge types and cognitive processes) and a defined set of criteria to evaluate each trait. Looking at the same responses with both lenses we can investigate the correlation between the level of abstraction and the sophistication of students' reasoning as indicated by the traits of our rubric.
Supported by NSF grant ESI055 4594.

Footnotes:

1. Lawson, A.E, et. al, (2000). What kinds of scientific concepts exist? Concept construction and intellectual development in college biology. JRST,37(9)
2. M. Nieswandt & K. Bellomo, JRST,46 (3)
3. L.W. Anderson & D.R. Krathwohl, A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman (2001)



CB07:

Learning Mathematics in a Physics Classroom

Location:

HC 3023 & 3023A 
Date:

Monday, Aug.01 
Time:

7:30PM  7:40PM

Author:

Jing Wang, Eastern Kentucky University
8596221526, jing.wang@eku.edu

CoAuthor(s):

Jerry Cook

Abstract:

It has long been known that a students' entering mathematical skill level is one of the best indicators of success in introductory physics courses.[1, 2] Physics teachers expect that students who meet the prerequisite requirement of an introductory physics course will be wellprepared, however, this is not always the case. In reality, every physics teacher faces the challenging question: Can we identify and save the students who meet the required course prerequisite yet who are not really prepared? A recent study at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Eastern Kentucky University suggests that when students take physics, their mathematical skills improve significantly, perhaps even more so than they do in a traditional mathematics course. This work will focus on the analysis of what mathematical skills have been improved, and reveal the link between the course content and mathematical skill improvement.

Footnotes:

[1] I. A. Halloun and D. Hestenes, The initial knowledge state of college physics students. American Journal of Physics, 53(11), 10431055 (1985)
[2] D. E. Meltzer, The relationship between mathematics preparation and conceptual learning gains in physics: A possible ?hidden variable? in diagnostic pretest scores. American Journal of Physics, 70(12), 12591268 (2002)



CB08:

Students' Understanding of the Concept of Sampling

Location:

HC 3023 & 3023A 
Date:

Monday, Aug.01 
Time:

7:40PM  7:50PM

Author:

Shaona Zhou, South China Normal University
6142922450, zhou.shaona@gmail.com

CoAuthor(s):

Hua Xiao, Jing Han, Yu'an Pi, Lei Bao

Abstract:

Sampling is an important scientific reasoning ability frequently used in experimental design and data interpretation. As part of the research on assessment of students' scientific reasoning skills, we designed a series of multiplechoice instruments that probe students' understanding of the concept of sampling. The assessment was carried out among the students from grade four to grade 11 to study the development of students' understanding about sampling which was involved in the scientific context. Results from students at different grade levels indicated that students did not understand and consider the concept of sampling as a significant scientific reasoning skill until grade eight.

Footnotes:

**Supported in part by NIH Award RC1RR028402 and NSF Awards DUE0633473 and DUE1044724


