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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Jing Li and Chandralekha Singh
We discuss an investigation of the difficulties that students in a calculus-based university introductory physics course have with electric field and the superposition principle for the case of a continuous charge distribution and how that research was used as a guide in the development, validation, and evaluation of a tutorial on these topics to help students learn these concepts. The tutorial uses a guided inquiry-based approach to learning and involved an iterative process of development and validation. During the validation process, we obtained feedback both from physics instructors who regularly teach introductory courses in which these concepts are taught and from students for whom the tutorial is intended. Then the final version of the tutorial was administered in several sections of a calculus-based introductory physics course after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant concepts. We discuss the performance of students in individual interviews and on the pretest administered before the tutorial (but after traditional lecture-based instruction) and on the post-test administered after the tutorial in three sections of the introductory physics course. We also compare student performance in several sections of the course in which students worked on the tutorial with another section in which students only learned the material via traditional lecture-based instruction. We find that students who used the tutorial performed significantly better compared to those who learned the material only via traditional lecture-based instruction.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 010116
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Inquiry Learning
= Problem Solving
- Instructional Material Design
= Tutorial
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electric Fields and Potential
= Electric Field
- Electrostatics
= Charge
Mathematical Tools
- Problem-Solving Techniques
= Superposition
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Educators
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010116
NSF Number:
152457
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created March 28, 2019 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
September 18, 2023 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 27, 2019
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
J. Li and C. Singh, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (1), 010116 (2019), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010116).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Li and C. Singh, Investigating and improving introductory physics students’ understanding of electric field and the superposition principle: The case of a continuous charge distribution, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (1), 010116 (2019), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010116>.
APA Format
Li, J., & Singh, C. (2019, February 27). Investigating and improving introductory physics students’ understanding of electric field and the superposition principle: The case of a continuous charge distribution. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 15(1), 010116. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010116
Chicago Format
Li, Jing, and Chandralekha Singh. "Investigating and improving introductory physics students’ understanding of electric field and the superposition principle: The case of a continuous charge distribution." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15, no. 1, (February 27, 2019): 010116, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010116 (accessed 27 May 2024).
MLA Format
Li, Jing, and Chandralekha Singh. "Investigating and improving introductory physics students’ understanding of electric field and the superposition principle: The case of a continuous charge distribution." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15.1 (2019): 010116. 27 May 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010116>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Jing Li and Chandralekha Singh", Title = {Investigating and improving introductory physics students’ understanding of electric field and the superposition principle: The case of a continuous charge distribution}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {15}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010116}, Month = {February}, Year = {2019} }
Refer Export Format

%A Jing Li %A Chandralekha Singh %T Investigating and improving introductory physics students' understanding of electric field and the superposition principle: The case of a continuous charge distribution %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 1 %D February 27, 2019 %P 010116 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010116 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Li, Jing %A Singh, Chandralekha %D February 27, 2019 %T Investigating and improving introductory physics students' understanding of electric field and the superposition principle: The case of a continuous charge distribution %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 1 %P 010116 %8 February 27, 2019 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010116


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Investigating and improving introductory physics students’ understanding of electric field and the superposition principle: The case of a continuous charge distribution:


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