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Spatial Reasoning Ability and the Construction of Integrals in Physics
written by Nathaniel R. Amos and Andrew F. Heckler
Introductory university physics frequently requires students to construct integrals. To explore students' abilities with this skill, we administered a simple physics problem requiring the construction of an integral to students enrolled in calculus-based introductory physics. Half of these students received written questions intended to scaffold construction of the integral, and the other half were not provided with scaffolding. Results indicate a strong interaction between scaffolding and student course grade. Specifically, students whose final class grade was above the median benefited significantly from the scaffolding, but students with grades below the median were not helped by the scaffolding. We also searched for other knowledge and skill factors that may inform instruction to improve integral construction skills, including spatial reasoning and conceptual understanding of the integral. Moderate, independent correlations with integral score were found for each, suggesting that instruction in these areas may positively influence performance.
Physics Education Research Conference 2014
Part of the PER Conference series
Minneapolis, MN: July 30-31, 2014
Pages 23-26
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Pedagogy
Education - Basic Research
- Achievement
Mathematical Tools
- Calculus
= Integral
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2014…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2014.pr.002
PACS:
01.40.Fk
Keywords:
Integrals, Mass Density, PERC 2014, Spatial Reasoning
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created April 24, 2015 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
June 1, 2015 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 28, 2015
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
N. Amos and A. Heckler, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2014, Minneapolis, MN, 2014, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13439&DocID=4038).
AJP/PRST-PER
N. Amos and A. Heckler, Spatial Reasoning Ability and the Construction of Integrals in Physics, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2014, Minneapolis, MN, 2014, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13439&DocID=4038>.
APA Format
Amos, N., & Heckler, A. (2014, July 30-31). Spatial Reasoning Ability and the Construction of Integrals in Physics. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2014, Minneapolis, MN. Retrieved June 12, 2021, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13439&DocID=4038
Chicago Format
Amos, Nathaniel, and Andrew F. Heckler. "Spatial Reasoning Ability and the Construction of Integrals in Physics." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2014, Minneapolis, MN, July 30-31, 2014. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13439&DocID=4038 (accessed 12 June 2021).
MLA Format
Amos, Nathaniel, and Andrew F. Heckler. "Spatial Reasoning Ability and the Construction of Integrals in Physics." Physics Education Research Conference 2014. Minneapolis, MN: 2014. 23-26 of PER Conference. 12 June 2021 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13439&DocID=4038>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Nathaniel Amos and Andrew F. Heckler", Title = {Spatial Reasoning Ability and the Construction of Integrals in Physics}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2014}, Pages = {23-26}, Address = {Minneapolis, MN}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {July 30-31}, Year = {2014} }
Refer Export Format

%A Nathaniel Amos
%A Andrew F. Heckler
%T Spatial Reasoning Ability and the Construction of Integrals in Physics
%S PER Conference
%D July 30-31 2014
%P 23-26
%C Minneapolis, MN
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13439&DocID=4038
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2014
%O July 30-31
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Amos, Nathaniel
%A Heckler, Andrew F.
%D July 30-31 2014
%T Spatial Reasoning Ability and the Construction of Integrals in Physics
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2014
%C Minneapolis, MN
%P 23-26
%S PER Conference
%8 July 30-31
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=13439&DocID=4038


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles.

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