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Investigating introductory student difficulties reading equipotential diagrams
written by Rebecca Rosenblatt, Raymond Zich, Amber Sammons, and Jacob Cermak
This study investigated student difficulties reading equipotential diagrams and the effect a visual change to these diagrams had on students' ability to interpret these diagrams. Equipotential diagrams are often drawn with a uniform line thickness and color. We modified the equipotential diagrams to use color variation and line thickness to indicate the sign and strength of the potential. These changes, which are consistent with theories of visual attention and grounded cognition, exploit students' innate ability to perceive color and line thickness variations to communicate the electric potential. Students compared electric potentials between indicated points on given traditional or modified diagrams. Results show that these students, even after instruction, responded with a distance only electric potential rule. In addition, we found that the modified diagrams did not have the predicted positive effect on students' ability to rank electric potentials; we suspect this is because students' rule for electric potential did not account for charge sign.
Physics Education Research Conference 2018
Part of the PER Conference series
Washington, DC: August 1-2, 2018
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
- Learning Theory
= Representations
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electric Fields and Potential
= Electrostatic Potential and Potential Energy
- Electrostatics
= Charge
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/perc.20…
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.2018.pr.Rosenblatt
Keyword:
PERC 2018
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 31, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 7, 2019 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 31, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
R. Rosenblatt, R. Zich, A. Sammons, and J. Cermak, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, 2018, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14846&DocID=4993).
AJP/PRST-PER
R. Rosenblatt, R. Zich, A. Sammons, and J. Cermak, Investigating introductory student difficulties reading equipotential diagrams, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, 2018, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14846&DocID=4993>.
APA Format
Rosenblatt, R., Zich, R., Sammons, A., & Cermak, J. (2018, August 1-2). Investigating introductory student difficulties reading equipotential diagrams. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC. Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14846&DocID=4993
Chicago Format
Rosenblatt, R, R. Zich, A. Sammons, and J. Cermak. "Investigating introductory student difficulties reading equipotential diagrams." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, August 1-2, 2018. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14846&DocID=4993 (accessed 18 June 2019).
MLA Format
Rosenblatt, Rebecca, Raymond Zich, Amber Sammons, and Jacob Cermak. "Investigating introductory student difficulties reading equipotential diagrams." Physics Education Research Conference 2018. Washington, DC: 2018. of PER Conference. 18 June 2019 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14846&DocID=4993>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Rebecca Rosenblatt and Raymond Zich and Amber Sammons and Jacob Cermak", Title = {Investigating introductory student difficulties reading equipotential diagrams}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2018}, Address = {Washington, DC}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {August 1-2}, Year = {2018} }
Refer Export Format

%A Rebecca Rosenblatt
%A Raymond Zich
%A Amber Sammons
%A Jacob Cermak
%T Investigating introductory student difficulties reading equipotential diagrams
%S PER Conference
%D August 1-2 2018
%C Washington, DC
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14846&DocID=4993
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2018
%O August 1-2
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Rosenblatt, Rebecca
%A Zich, Raymond
%A Sammons, Amber
%A Cermak, Jacob
%D August 1-2 2018
%T Investigating introductory student difficulties reading equipotential diagrams
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2018
%C Washington, DC
%S PER Conference
%8 August 1-2
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14846&DocID=4993


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