AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Physics Education Research
  Paper Type: Poster
  Title: Modeling Student Understanding of Period, Frequency, and Angular Frequency
  Meeting: 2017 Summer Meeting: Cincinnati, Ohio
  Location: N/A
  Time: 9:15PM
  Author: Nicholas T. Young,, The Ohio State University,
4402266633, young.1905@osu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Andrew F Heckler
  Abstract: Periodic behavior is a fundamental phenomenon in many physical systems; therefore, it is critical that students understand the concepts and relationships that underlie such behavior. Here, we used the context of the behavior of a simple harmonic oscillator to investigate students’ ability to determine the period, frequency, and angular frequency from various mathematical and graphical representations by administering a 36-item test to students in an introductory-calculus-based physics course. We found that students could be classified into one of four groups, according to the question types they mastered. These groups were hierarchically categorized based on the number and kind of relationships each student mastered. For example, we found only students who could correctly apply the period and frequency relationship could also correctly apply any angular frequency relationship. This hierarchical nature of student performance suggests instruction should focus on ensuring that students understand the period and frequency relationship before introducing angular frequency.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: 17_AAPTPoster.pdf

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