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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Javier Pulgar, Valentina Fahler, and Alexis Spina
Traditionally, scholars in physics education research have focused on students solving well-structured learning activities at the university. However, due to their constrained nature, these problems hinder collaboration and idea generation. In order to encourage student collaboration and decision making demands among undergraduate students in an introductory physics course, we utilized a real-world problem where groups were asked to compose a well-structured physics problem for younger learners. In this study we explored how they collaborated in composing physics problems. Data collection consisted of audio recording of the group discussions while they were collaborating to develop their physics problems and their respective problem solutions. Through interviews, we accessed participants' perceptions of the task and related challenges. Results suggest that composing problems is an opportunity for participants to propose ideas and make decisions regarding the goals of the problem, concepts and procedures, contextual details, and magnitudes and units to introduce in their activities. Further, participants valued the open-ended nature of the task and recognized its benefits in utilizing physics ideas into context, which in turn enabled collaboration in a way not experienced by them with traditional well-structured problems. These findings shed light on the nature of composing physics problems in undergraduate courses, where participants assume a different role by facing a real-world activity that encourages expertise through physics-related communication and writing.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 010120
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Cooperative Learning
= Problem Solving
- Learning Environment
Education - Basic Research
- Behavior
= Social Interaction
- Problem Solving
= Metacognition
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
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- Educators
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Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010120
Keywords:
authentic instruction, real-world context
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created May 12, 2021 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
March 24, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 29, 2021
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AIP Format
J. Pulgar, V. Fahler, and A. Spina, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17 (1), 010120 (2021), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010120).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Pulgar, V. Fahler, and A. Spina, Investigating how university students collaborate to compose physics problems through structured tasks, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17 (1), 010120 (2021), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010120>.
APA Format
Pulgar, J., Fahler, V., & Spina, A. (2021, March 29). Investigating how university students collaborate to compose physics problems through structured tasks. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 17(1), 010120. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010120
Chicago Format
Pulgar, J, V. Fahler, and A. Spina. "Investigating how university students collaborate to compose physics problems through structured tasks." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17, no. 1, (March 29, 2021): 010120, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010120 (accessed 29 February 2024).
MLA Format
Pulgar, Javier, Valentina Fahler, and Alexis Spina. "Investigating how university students collaborate to compose physics problems through structured tasks." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 17.1 (2021): 010120. 29 Feb. 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010120>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Javier Pulgar and Valentina Fahler and Alexis Spina", Title = {Investigating how university students collaborate to compose physics problems through structured tasks}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {17}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010120}, Month = {March}, Year = {2021} }
Refer Export Format

%A Javier Pulgar %A Valentina Fahler %A Alexis Spina %T Investigating how university students collaborate to compose physics problems through structured tasks %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 17 %N 1 %D March 29, 2021 %P 010120 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010120 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Pulgar, Javier %A Fahler, Valentina %A Spina, Alexis %D March 29, 2021 %T Investigating how university students collaborate to compose physics problems through structured tasks %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 17 %N 1 %P 010120 %8 March 29, 2021 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.17.010120


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