AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: PER: Examining Content Understanding and Reasoning - B
  Paper Type: Contributed
  Title: Words vs. Graphs: Tracking Shifts in Students’ Understanding of Forces
  Meeting: 2016 Summer Meeting: Sacremento, California
  Location: N/A
  Time: 9:10AM
  Author: Trevor I. Smith, Rowan University
856-256-4848, smithtr@rowan.edu
  Co-Author(s): Ian T. Griffin, Nicholas J. Wright
  Abstract: Many studies have shown that students often struggle to interpret and generate graphs of various physical quantities. This can be seen in students’ responses to the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation. When analysing consistency on questions asking students to select graphs of force vs. time to accompany a described motion compared to questions asking them to choose verbal descriptions of forces, we have previously used consistency plots to show that students are more likely to improve on the graph questions than the natural language questions. This suggests that students may have developed a formal understanding of the relationship between force and motion but do not apply it when reasoning about situations related to their daily lives. We expand on these results by incorporating data from multiple colleges and universities and show how these results relate to other analyses of the data.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: Smith_AAPT_talk_160718.pdf

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