aapt_program_final_sm13 - page 45

July 13–17, 2013
Monday morning
Monday, July 15
10 - 11:30 a.m.
Big Pink Sightseeing Tour!
Session AB: Broader Perspectives:
Students’ Understanding
Location: Nines Hotel – Gallery 1
Sponsor: Committee on International Physics Education
Co-Sponsor: Committee on Research in Physics Education
Date: Monday, July 15
Time: 8–9:40 a.m.
Presider: Genaro Zavala
8-8:30 a.m. Claims, Arguments, and Evidence:
Examples from Qualitative and Quantitative PER*
Invited – Paula Heron, University of Washington, Department of Physics, Box
351560, Seattle, WA 98195-1560;
The Physics Education Group at the University of Washington investigates
student learning in an iterative cycle in which basic research, classroom
instruction, and the development of instructional materials are inextricably
linked. In talks and presentations we make (at least) two types of claims: we
attribute student errors made in response to tasks posed in writing or dur-
ing interviews to underlying thought patterns, and we attribute improved
performance on such tasks to the instructional interventions we design. In
this talk I will use examples to discuss the nature of these claims and the
evidence required to support them.
*Supported in part by the NSF.
8:30-8:40 a.m. Student Difficulties with Implications of
the Buoyant Force
Contributed – DJ Wagner, Grove City College, 100 Campus Drive, Grove
City, PA 16127;
Zachary Bazan, Elizabeth Carbone, Ashley Lindow, Grove City College
One “standard” buoyancy question asks about the effect on the water level
of an enclosed container, when objects are removed from a floating boat
and sink to the bottom of the container, or when objects from the bottom
are placed in a floating boat. We have used several versions of this question
during the development of a static fluids assessment, in an attempt to find
one that students with a reasonable understanding of buoyancy can answer
correctly. This talk will discuss results for different versions of this question
and present the results for different populations.
8:40-8:50 a.m. Similar Density Questions with Very
Different Results
Contributed – Ashley E. Lindow,* Grove City College, 200 Campus Drive,
Grove City, PA 16127;
Elizabeth Carbone, DJ Wagner, Grove City College
While developing a standardized fluids assessment covering buoyancy and
pressure, we discovered deficiencies in student understanding of density.
In particular, many college students do not recognize that density is a fixed
property of a solid substance, such as aluminum or gold. We added ques-
tions to our diagnostic exam to probe the extent of student difficulties. In
one of our questions, only 50-60% of students recognize that the density of
gold is a fixed value. When similar questions from an existing diagnostic
are used, however, 85-90% of students correctly identify the density of a
piece of wood and of a diamond as fixed values. In this paper we discuss
the differences between these questions and how those differences affect
student responses.
. R. Yeend, M. Loverude,
and B. Gonzalez, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2001,
Rochester, New York, 2001, WWW Document, (
*Sponsored by DJ Wagner
8:50-9 a.m. An Evaluation of the Translated Version of
the FMCE
Contributed – Michi Ishimoto, Kochi University of Technology, Tosayamada-
cho Kami-shi, Kochi 780-0832, Japan;
This study assesses the Japanese translation of the Force and Motion Con-
ceptual Evaluation (abbreviated to FMCEJ). Because of differences between
the Japanese and English languages, as well as between the Japanese and
American educational systems, it is important to assess the Japanese trans-
lation of the FMCE, a test originally developed in English for American
students. The data consist of the pre-test results of 1095 students, most of
whom were first-year students at a mid-level engineering school between
2003 and 2012. The basic statistics and the classical test theory indices of
the FMCEJ indicate that its reliability and discrimination are adequate in
assessing Japanese students’ preconcepts about motion. The preconcepts
assessed with the FMCEJ are quite similar to those of American students,
thereby supporting its validity.
9-9:10 a.m. Introductory Physics Students’ Abstraction
Contributed – Sergio Flores, University of Juarez, Plutarco E. Calles 1210,
Juarez, Chih 32310, Mexico;
Juan Ernesto Chavez-Prieto, Juan E. Chavez, Maria Dolores Gonzalez,
Sergio Miguel Terrazas, University of Juarez
We present results related to students’ abstraction levels in learning situa-
tions through the concept of variation in the context of one-dimensional
motion. This investigation was conducted in the University of Juarez. The
main goal was the exploration of the relationship between the different
representation systems, and the mathematical and physical contexts. The
collected data show that this relationship represents an ultimate tool to
improve the development of the mathematical abstraction levels during the
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