aapt_program_final_sm13 - page 106

Wednesday morning
either: receive only relevant expressions, “formulas,” with each question; or
to receive several relevant and non-relevant expressions in the footnotes.
Three main interesting results were found. First, the presence of only the
relevant formula(s) did not help the students solve these problems. Second,
students were significantly more likely to attempt to take a quantitative or
algebraic solution path when more formulas were present (footnoted for-
mulas condition) even though the majority of available formulas were not
directly relevant and the formula placement would seem to suggest lower
usefulness. Lastly, as question difficulty increased, students were less likely
to attempt to explain their reasoning despite having done so on previous
PST2C12: 9:15-10 a.m. Eye Movements While Interpreting
Graphical Representations of Motion
Poster – Jennifer L. Docktor, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Depart-
ment of Physics, 1725 State S., La Crosse, WI 54601;
Jose Mestre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Elizabeth Gire, University of Memphis
N. Sanjay Rebello, Adrian Madsen Kansas State University
Multiple representations are important for learning physics concepts and
solving problems (e.g. interpreting text, equations, pictures, diagrams, and/
or graphs), yet students often struggle to make sense of these representa-
tions. This study investigates how introductory students and graduate stu-
dents view and interpret motion graphs. Participants viewed several graphs
of position, velocity, or acceleration on a computer screen and were asked
to match a region of the graph with a description of the object’s motion. We
compare performance on the questions with audio-recorded explanations
and eye movements recorded using an eye tracker.
PST2C13: 8:30-9:15 a.m. Negative Energy: Why
Interdisciplinary Physics Requires Blended Ontologies
Poster – Benjamin W. Dreyfus, University of Maryland, College Park, Depart-
ment of Physics, 082 Regents Drive, College Park, MD 20742; dreyfus@
Benjamin D. Geller, Vashti Sawtelle, Chandra Turpen, Edward F. Redish,
University of Maryland, College Park
Much recent work in physics education research has focused on ontologi-
cal metaphors for energy (metaphors for what type of thing energy “is”),
particularly the substance ontology and its pedagogical affordances. The
concept of negative energy problematizes the substance ontology for
energy (because there cannot be a negative amount of a substance), but
in many instructional settings, the specific difficulties around negative
energy are outweighed by the general advantages of the substance ontology.
However, we claim that our interdisciplinary setting (an undergraduate
physics class that builds deep connections to biology and chemistry) leads
to a different set of considerations and conclusions. In a course designed to
draw interdisciplinary connections, the centrality of chemical bond energy
in biology necessitates foregrounding negative energy from the begin-
ning. We argue that the emphasis on negative energy requires a blend of
substance and location ontologies. The location ontology enables energies
both “above” and “below” zero.
PST2C14: 9:15-10 a.m. Online Computer Coaches for Introduc-
tory Physics Problem Solving – Usage Patterns and
Students’ Performance*
Poster – Qing Xu, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 116 Church St. SE,
Minneapolis, MN 55455,
Kenneth Heller, Leon Hsu, Evan Frodermann, University of Minnesota-Twin
Bijaya Aryal, University of Minnesota-Rochester
The Physics Education Research Group at the University of Minnesota
has been developing internet computer coaches to help students become
more expert-like problem solvers. During the fall 2011 and spring 2013
semesters, the coaches were introduced into large sections (200+ students)
of the calculus-based introductory mechanics course at the University of
Minnesota. In this poster, we will discuss the different usage patterns of
the coaches and their correlations with student problem-solving perfor-
mance and attitudes toward problem solving in physics.
*This work was supported by NSF DUE-0715615 and DUE-1226197.
PST2C15: 8:30-9:15 a.m. Problem Solving Reflection in
Second-Semester Physics: A Pilot Analysis
Poster – Andrew Mason, University of Central Arkansas, Lewis Science
Center 171, Conway, AR 72035;
Recent effort has been shown in attempting an intervention to teach
reflection in problem solving in an introductory physics classroom.
area of interest is fostering a more sustained intervention in order to re-
inforce the reflection stage of a developing problem-solving framework.
We present an attempt to introduce reflection in problem solving into a
second-semester algebra-based physics course with a student population
consisting predominately of life sciences majors. Analysis of pre- and
post-test data from the MPEX survey
will be discussed in light of vari-
ables that affect the pilot study’s outcome. These variables include general
course structure, student population, and data to be gathered for analysis.
1. Yerushalmi et al.,
Phys. Rev. ST,
(2), 020109 and 020110 (2012). 2. Redish
et al.,
Am. J. Phys
, 212-224 (1998).
PST2C16: 9:15-10 a.m. Should Students be Provided Diagrams
or Asked to Draw Them While Solving Introductory
Physics Problems?*
Poster – Alexandru Maries, University of Pittsburgh, 5813 Bartlett St.,
Pittsburgh, PA 15217;
Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh
Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem-solving heuristic that
can transform the problem into a representation that is easier to exploit
for solving the problem. A major focus while helping introductory
physics students learn problem solving is to help them appreciate that
drawing diagrams facilitates further problem solution. We conducted an
investigation in which approximately 120 students in an algebra-based
introductory physics course were subjected to three different interven-
tions during the problem solving in recitation quizzes throughout the se-
mester. They were either asked to solve problems in which the diagrams
were drawn for them or they were explicitly told to draw a diagram, or
they were not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We developed
a rubric to score problem-solving performance of students in different
intervention groups. We will present our findings including some sur-
prising results for problems that involve final/initial situations.
*This work is supported by NSF.
PST2C17: 8:30-9:15 a.m. Exploring Faculty Change in the FIU
Science Collaborative*
Poster – Adrienne L. Traxler, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th
St., Miami, FL 33199;
Laird Kramer, Eric Brewe, David Brookes, Joseph Lichter, Ophelia Weeks,
Florida International University
The FIU Science Collaborative is a four-year project to reform under-
graduate science education across three departments at Florida Inter-
national University. It drives institutional change through community
building and faculty development. Interested professors and instruc-
tors apply to be “faculty scholars,” undertaking major transformation
of a class they teach to incorporate active learning. They also become
involved in regular discipline-based education research (DBER) meet-
ings with a wider community of STEM faculty. This project affords both
opportunities and challenges for research on faculty change, spanning a
range of instructional strategies, disciplines, and course levels. Here we
discuss some emerging themes from faculty scholars’ work and connec-
tions to current research on faculty development.
*Supported by HHMI #52006924
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