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2007 PERC Proceedings

Conference Information

Dates: August 1-2, 2007
Location: Greensboro, NC
Theme: Cognitive Science and Physics Education Research

Proceedings Information

Editors: Leon Hsu, Charles Henderson, and Laura McCullough
Published: November 12, 2007
AIP URL: AIP Conference Proceedings 951
Info: Single book; 238 pages; 8.5 X 11 inches, double column
ISBN: 978-0-7354-0465-6
ISSN (Print): 0094-243X
ISSN (Online): 1551-7616

The 2007 Physics Education Research Conference brought together researchers studying a wide variety of topics in physics education including transfer of knowledge, learning in physics courses at all levels, teacher education, and cross-disciplinary learning. The theme of this conference was Cognitive Science and Physics Education Research.

Readership: Physics education researchers (faculty, post-doctoral students, and graduate students); researchers in fields close to Physics Education, such as cognitive science, chemistry education, biology education; physics faculty at undergraduate and graduate levels; high school physics teachers.

Table of Contents

Front Matter
Invited Papers (8)
Peer-reviewed Papers (45)
Back Matter

INVITED MANUSCRIPTS (8)

First Author Index

Hsu · Nokes · Ross · Sears · Sherin · Yerushalmi · Singh

Invited Papers

Publishing And Refereeing Papers In Physics Education Research
Leonardo Hsu, Robert J. Beichner, Karen Cummings, Janet L. Kolodner, and Laura McCullough
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 3-6, doi:10.1063/1.2820941
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At the 2007 Physics Education Research Conference, a workshop on publishing and refereeing was held with a panel of editors from four different publishing venues: the physics education research section of the American Journal of Physics, the Journal of the Learning Sciences, Physical Review Special Topics–Physics Education Research, and the Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings. These editors answered questions from participants regarding publishing in their respective venues, as well as writing referee reports that would be useful to both journal editors and authors. This paper summarizes the discussion.

L. Hsu, R. J. Beichner, K. Cummings, J. L. Kolodner, and L. McCullough, Publishing And Refereeing Papers In Physics Education Research, 2007 PERC Proceedings [Greensboro, NC, August 1-2, 2007], edited by L. Hsu, C. Henderson, and L. McCullough [AIP Conf. Proc. 951, 3-6 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2820941.

Facilitating Conceptual Learning Through Analogy And Explanation
Timothy Nokes and Brian H. Ross
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 7-10, doi:10.1063/1.2820952
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Research in cognitive science has shown that students typically have a difficult time acquiring deep conceptual understanding in domains like mathematics and physics and often rely on textbook examples to solve new problems. The use of prior examples facilitates learning, but the advantage is often limited to very similar problems. One reason students rely so heavily on using prior examples is that they lack a deep understanding for how the principles are instantiated in the examples. We review and present research aimed at helping students learn the relations between principles and examples through generating explanations and making analogies.

T. Nokes and B. H. Ross, Facilitating Conceptual Learning Through Analogy And Explanation, 2007 PERC Proceedings [Greensboro, NC, August 1-2, 2007], edited by L. Hsu, C. Henderson, and L. McCullough [AIP Conf. Proc. 951, 7-10 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2820952.

Cognitive Science: Problem Solving And Learning For Physics Education
Brian H. Ross
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 11-14, doi:10.1063/1.2820910
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Cognitive Science has focused on general principles of problem solving and learning that might be relevant for physics education research. This paper examines three selected issues that have relevance for the difficulty of transfer in problem solving domains: specialized systems of memory and reasoning, the importance of content in thinking, and a characterization of memory retrieval in problem solving. In addition, references to these issues are provided to allow the interested researcher entries to the literatures.

B. H. Ross, Cognitive Science: Problem Solving And Learning For Physics Education, 2007 PERC Proceedings [Greensboro, NC, August 1-2, 2007], edited by L. Hsu, C. Henderson, and L. McCullough [AIP Conf. Proc. 951, 11-14 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2820910.

Instrumentation in Learning Research
David A. Sears and Daniel L. Schwartz
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 15-18, doi:10.1063/1.2820921
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In physics experiments, a great deal of effort is spent calibrating instruments. These include instruments that precipitate some event, and instruments that measure the effects of those events. Design research in the learning sciences often focuses on precipitating learning events, but it does not pay equal attention to designing effective measures. We present the results of a study that compared two types of instruction on students working alone or in pairs. We show how one measure, common to most studies of learning, failed to detect any effects. Then we show how a second measure, called a Preparation for Future Learning measure, detected important differences. Specifically, pairs working to invent solutions to problems in statistics were more prepared to learn about new, related types of statistics than pairs who were shown how to solve the original problems, as well as individuals who invented or were shown how to solve the original problems.

D. A. Sears and D. L. Schwartz, Instrumentation in Learning Research, 2007 PERC Proceedings [Greensboro, NC, August 1-2, 2007], edited by L. Hsu, C. Henderson, and L. McCullough [AIP Conf. Proc. 951, 15-18 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2820921.

Cognitive Science: The Science Of The (Nearly) Obvious
Bruce L. Sherin
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 19-22, doi:10.1063/1.2820932
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This article discusses the need for a “grand theory” of physics cognition and learning. The idea of the grand theory is that it would be a complete description of the knowledge students possess and how that changes over time, from before instruction, all the way through expertise. The first part of the paper discusses our current state of knowledge and possible strategies for making progress on the grand theory. The second part of the paper illustrates, with an example, how the program might work.

B. L. Sherin, Cognitive Science: The Science Of The (Nearly) Obvious, 2007 PERC Proceedings [Greensboro, NC, August 1-2, 2007], edited by L. Hsu, C. Henderson, and L. McCullough [AIP Conf. Proc. 951, 19-22 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2820932.

Conceptual Dynamics in Clinical Interviews
Bruce L. Sherin, Victor R. Lee, and Moshe Krakowski
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 23-26, doi:10.1063/1.2820937
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One of the main tools that we have for the study of student science conceptions is the clinical interview. Research on student understanding of natural phenomena has tended to understand interviews as tools for reading out a student's knowledge. In this paper, we argue for a shift in how we think about and analyze interview data. In particular, we argue that we must be aware that the interview itself is a dynamic process during which a sort of conceptual change occurs. We refer to these short time-scale changes that occur over a few minutes in an interview as conceptual dynamics. Our goal is to devise new frameworks and techniques for capturing the conceptual dynamics. To this end, we have devised a simple and neutral cognitive framework. In this paper, we describe this framework, and we show how it can be applied to understand interview data. We hope to show that the conceptual dynamics of interviews are complex, but that it nonetheless feasible to make them a focus of study.

B. L. Sherin, V. R. Lee, and M. Krakowski, Conceptual Dynamics in Clinical Interviews, 2007 PERC Proceedings [Greensboro, NC, August 1-2, 2007], edited by L. Hsu, C. Henderson, and L. McCullough [AIP Conf. Proc. 951, 23-26 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2820937.

Physics Learning in the Context of Scaffolded Diagnostic Tasks (I): The Experimental Setup
Edit Yerushalmi, Chandralekha Singh, and Bat-Sheva Eylon
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 27-30, doi:10.1063/1.2820938
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For problem solving to serve as an effective learning opportunity, it should involve deliberate reflection, e.g., planning and evaluating the solver's progress toward a solution, as well as self-diagnosing former steps while elaborating on conceptual understanding. While expert problem solvers employ deliberate reflection, the novices (many introductory physics students) fail to take full advantage of problem solving as a learning opportunity. In this paper we will focus on self-diagnosis as an instructional strategy to engage students in reflective problem solving. In self-diagnosis tasks students are explicitly required to carry out self diagnosis activities after being given some feedback on the solution. In this and a companion paper, we will present research exploring the following questions: How well do students self-diagnose, if at all, their solutions? What are the learning outcomes of these activities? Can one improve the act of self-diagnosis and the resulting learning outcomes by scaffolding the activity?

E. Yerushalmi, C. Singh, and B. Eylon, Physics Learning in the Context of Scaffolded Diagnostic Tasks (I): The Experimental Setup, 2007 PERC Proceedings [Greensboro, NC, August 1-2, 2007], edited by L. Hsu, C. Henderson, and L. McCullough [AIP Conf. Proc. 951, 27-30 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2820938.

Physics Learning in the Context of Scaffolded Diagnostic Tasks (II): Preliminary Results
Chandralekha Singh, Edit Yerushalmi, and Bat-Sheva Eylon
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 31-34, doi:10.1063/1.2820939
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In a companion paper we presented self-diagnosis tasks in which students are explicitly required to self diagnose their problem solutions after being given some feedback. In this paper we suggest a rubric to evaluate diagnosis and exemplify its use in two case studies. We present preliminary results regarding how students' performance on the self-diagnosis tasks relates to their performance in solving problems and to their progress during the course. In preliminary analysis, we find that the correlation between students' self-diagnosis grades and their performance in the mid-semester quiz was very low (0.16), the correlation between the grades in the mid-semester quiz and the final exam grades was also low (0.21) while the correlation between the self-diagnosis grades in the mid-semester quiz and the final exam grades was reasonably high (0.68). We suggest that these results can be explained by the hypothesis that the self-diagnosis grades measure the slope of students' learning curve.

C. Singh, E. Yerushalmi, and B. Eylon, Physics Learning in the Context of Scaffolded Diagnostic Tasks (II): Preliminary Results, 2007 PERC Proceedings [Greensboro, NC, August 1-2, 2007], edited by L. Hsu, C. Henderson, and L. McCullough [AIP Conf. Proc. 951, 31-34 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2820939.

PEER REVIEWED MANUSCRIPTS (45)

First Author Index

Aryal · Aubrecht II · Bernhard · Bilak · Black · Bonham · Bowman · Brookes · Conlin · Corpuz · Dancy · Demaree · Diff · Etkina · Karelina · Ruibal-Villasenor · Feil · Gupta · Harlow · Harper · Haynicz · Henderson · Kapon · Keller · Kohl · Kost · Lising · Mateycik · McBride · Mountcastle · Murthy · Otero · Podolefsky · Pollock · Savinainen · Scaife · Schuster · Scott · Shekoyan · Singh · Torigoe · Turpen · Van Deventer · Zou

Peer-reviewed Papers

Investigating Peer Scaffolding in Learning and Transfer of Learning Using Teaching Interviews
Bijaya Aryal and Dean A. Zollman
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 37-40, doi:10.1063/1.2820940
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Student Perceptions of Three Different Physics by Inquiry Classes using the Laboratory Program Variables Inventory
Gordon J. Aubrecht, II
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 41-44, doi:10.1063/1.2820942
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Humans, Intentionality, Experience and Tools for Learning: Some Contributions from Post-cognitive Theories to the Use of Technology in Physics Education
Jonte Bernhard
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 45-48, doi:10.1063/1.2820943
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Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding of Conductors and Insulators
Joshua Bilak and Chandralekha Singh
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 49-52, doi:10.1063/1.2820944
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Epistemic Games in Integration: Modeling Resource Choice
Katrina E. Black and Michael C. Wittmann
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 53-56, doi:10.1063/1.2820945
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Measuring Student Effort and Engagement in an Introductory Physics Course
Scott W. Bonham
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 57-60, doi:10.1063/1.2820946
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Voltage is the Most Difficult Subject for Students in Physics by Inquiry's Electric Circuits Module
Carol Bowman and Gordon J. Aubrecht, II
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 61-64, doi:10.1063/1.2820947
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Reading Time as Evidence for Mental Models in Understanding Physics
David T. Brookes, Jose P. Mestre, and Elizabeth Stine-Morrow
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 65-68, doi:10.1063/1.2820948
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The Dynamics of Students' Behaviors and Reasoning during Collaborative Physics Tutorial Sessions
Luke D. Conlin, Ayush Gupta, Rachel E. Scherr, and David Hammer
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 69-72, doi:10.1063/1.2820949
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Hands-On and Minds-On Modeling Activities to Improve Students' Conceptions of Microscopic Friction
Edgar D. Corpuz and N. Sanjay Rebello
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 73-76, doi:10.1063/1.2820950
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Modeling Success: Building Community for Reform
Melissa H. Dancy, Eric Brewe, and Charles R. Henderson
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 77-80, doi:10.1063/1.2820951
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Measuring the Effect of Written Feedback on Writing
Dedra Demaree
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 81-84, doi:10.1063/1.2820953
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From FCI To CSEM To Lawson Test: A Report On Data Collected At A Community College
Karim Diff and Nacira Tache
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 85-87, doi:10.1063/1.2820954
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Spending Time on Design: Does It Hurt Physics Learning?
Eugenia Etkina, Alan Van Heuvelen, Anna Karelina, Maria Ruibal-Villasenor, and David Rosengrant
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 88-91, doi:10.1063/1.2820955
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Design And Non-design Labs: Does Transfer Occur?
Anna Karelina, Eugenia Etkina, Maria Ruibal-Villasenor, David Rosengrant, Alan Van Heuvelen, and Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 92-95, doi:10.1063/1.2820956
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From Physics to Biology: Helping Students Attain All-Terrain Knowledge
Maria Ruibal-Villasenor, Eugenia Etkina, Anna Karelina, David Rosengrant, Rebecca Jordan, and Alan Van Heuvelen
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 96-99, doi:10.1063/1.2820957
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Expert-Novice Differences on a Recognition Memory Test of Physics Diagrams
Adam Feil and Jose P. Mestre
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 100-103, doi:10.1063/1.2820905
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Coordination of Mathematics and Physical Resources by Physics Graduate Students
Ayush Gupta, Edward F. Redish, and David Hammer
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 104-107, doi:10.1063/1.2820906
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How Elementary Teachers Use What We Teach: The Impact Of PER At The K-5 Level
Danielle Harlow
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 108-111, doi:10.1063/1.2820907
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Student Categorization of Problems - An Extension
Kathleen A. Harper, Zachary D. Hite, Richard Freuler, and John Demel
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 112-115, doi:10.1063/1.2820908
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Students' Ideas of a Blender and Perceptions of Scaffolding Activities
Jacquelyn Haynicz and N. Sanjay Rebello
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 116-119, doi:10.1063/1.2820909
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Promoting Instructional Change in New Faculty: An Evaluation of the Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop
Charles R. Henderson
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 120-123, doi:10.1063/1.2820911
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Explanatory Framework for Popular Physics Lectures
Shulamit Kapon, Uri Ganiel, and Bat-Sheva Eylon
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 124-127, doi:10.1063/1.2820912
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Research-based Practices For Effective Clicker Use
C. J. Keller, Noah D. Finkelstein, Katherine K. Perkins, Steven J. Pollock, Chandra Turpen, and Michael Dubson
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 128-131, doi:10.1063/1.2820913
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Expert and Novice Use of Multiple Representations During Physics Problem Solving
Patrick B. Kohl and Noah D. Finkelstein
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 132-135, doi:10.1063/1.2820914
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Investigating the Source of the Gender Gap in Introductory Physics
Lauren E. Kost, Steven J. Pollock, and Noah D. Finkelstein
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 136-139, doi:10.1063/1.2820915
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Exploring the Intersections of Personal Epistemology, Public Epistemology, and Affect
Laura Lising
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 140-143, doi:10.1063/1.2820916
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Students' Perceptions of Case-Reuse Based Problem Solving in Algebra-Based Physics
Frances Mateycik, Zdeslav Hrepic, David Jonassen, and N. Sanjay Rebello
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 144-147, doi:10.1063/1.2820917
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Investigating Students' Ideas about Wavefront Aberrometry
Dyan L. McBride and Dean A. Zollman
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 148-151, doi:10.1063/1.2820918
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Student Estimates of Probability and Uncertainty in Advanced Laboratory and Statistical Physics Courses
Donald B. Mountcastle, Brandon Bucy, and John R. Thompson
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 152-155, doi:10.1063/1.2820919
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Peer-assessment of Homework Using Rubrics
Sahana Murthy
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 156-159, doi:10.1063/1.2820920
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Learning to Think Like Scientists with the PET Curriculum
Valerie K. Otero and Kara E. Gray
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 160-163, doi:10.1063/1.2820922
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Salience of Representations and Analogies in Physics
Noah S. Podolefsky and Noah D. Finkelstein
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 164-167, doi:10.1063/1.2820923
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Student Understanding of the Physics and Mathematics of Process Variables in P-V Diagrams
Evan B. Pollock, John R. Thompson, and Donald B. Mountcastle
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 168-171, doi:10.1063/1.2820924
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A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Curriculum on Conceptual Understanding in E&M
Steven J. Pollock
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 172-175, doi:10.1063/1.2820925
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FCI-based Multiple Choice Test for Investigating Students' Representational Coherence
Antti Savinainen, Pasi Nieminen, Jouni Viiri, Jukka Korkea-aho, and Aku Talikka
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 176-179, doi:10.1063/1.2820926
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The Effect of Field Representation on Student Responses to Magnetic Force Questions
Thomas M. Scaife and Andrew F. Heckler
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 180-183, doi:10.1063/1.2820927
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Multiple Modes of Reasoning in Physics Problem Solving, with Implications for Instruction
David Schuster, Adriana Undreiu, and Betty Adams
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 184-187, doi:10.1063/1.2820928
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Explicit Reflection in an Introductory Physics Course
Michael Scott, Timothy Stelzer, and Gary Gladding
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 188-191, doi:10.1063/1.2820929
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Introducing Ill-Structured Problems in Introductory Physics Recitations
Vazgen Shekoyan and Eugenia Etkina
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 192-195, doi:10.1063/1.2820930
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Effect of Misconception on Transfer in Problem Solving
Chandralekha Singh
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 196-199, doi:10.1063/1.2820931
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Symbols: Weapons of Math Destruction
Eugene Torigoe and Gary Gladding
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 200-203, doi:10.1063/1.2820933
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Understanding How Physics Faculty Use Peer Instruction
Chandra Turpen and Noah D. Finkelstein
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 204-207, doi:10.1063/1.2820934
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Comparing Student Use of Mathematical and Physical Vector Representations
Joel Van Deventer and Michael C. Wittmann
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 208-211, doi:10.1063/1.2820935
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Using Students' Design Tasks to Develop Scientific Abilities
Xueli Zou
AIP Conf. Proc. 951, pp. 212-215, doi:10.1063/1.2820936
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