Selecting the Correct Solution to a Physics Problem When Given Several Possibilities

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. John Risley, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Robert Beichner, Committee Co-Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Ruth Chabay, Committee Co-Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Bruce Sherwood, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.author Richards, Evan en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-08-19T18:13:55Z
dc.date.available 2010-08-19T18:13:55Z
dc.date.issued 2010-04-20 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-03052010-234223 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/6152
dc.description.abstract Decades of research have identified what actions students take when studying written passages or worked examples. Such research has provided a rather profound understanding of which actions are beneficial for learning. Unfortunately, the research has not fully explored how to encourage the use of the beneficial learning actions within the realm of physics. From my own pilot work, examples encompassing less complex material tend to have a questionable impact. Yet when the material is expanded to more complex situations, some participants tended to become overwhelmed or provide other evidence of shallow processing. However, given the ascension of promising reforms that integrate incorrect solutions, perhaps the inclusion of incorrect solutions might cue the elusive beneficial learning actions. While the research does provide assessments of such reforms, there are limited results on what mental processing emerges. This paper reports a study that is directed toward the above issues. Participants were given four physics problems. The participants were also given three possible solutions for each problem. Only one of the solutions was correct, while the other two contained errors. The participants were asked to identify the correct solution and the errors in the other solutions. The central research question is: what actions emerge when performing this task of selecting the correct solution and finding the errors in the other solutions? Overall, the actions associated with the above task are reassuringly consistent with the worked example literature and the reading comprehension literature. The analysis also suggests two results regarding participant attention. Participant judgments tended to include physics-related aspects of the solution that were different across given solutions, and for the sample as a whole, some degree of processing was found for all information representations used in this study (prose, pictorial, and mathematical). en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dis sertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject Physics Problems en_US
dc.subject Physics Worked Examples en_US
dc.title Selecting the Correct Solution to a Physics Problem When Given Several Possibilities en_US
dc.degree.name PhD en_US
dc.degree.level dissertation en_US
dc.degree.discipline Physics en_US


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