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European Journal of Physics
written by Jing Li and Chandralekha Singh
A solid grasp of the concept of electric flux is an important pre-requisite for appropriate use of Gauss's law in solving electrostatics problems. As part of a broader investigation focusing on improving understanding of electrostatics concepts, we investigated the conceptual difficulties of college students in a traditionally taught calculus-based introductory physics course with the concept of electric flux and then the research on student difficulties was used as a guide in the development and evaluation of a research-validated tutorial which strives to help students learn this concept better. During the investigation of difficulties and the design and validation of the guided inquiry-based tutorial, college students in a calculus-based introductory physics course were given written questions to probe the common conceptual difficulties with the electric flux related concepts, and we also interviewed a subset of those students to get an in-depth account of the reasons behind the conceptual difficulties. The guided inquiry-based learning sequences in the tutorial were also iterated several times with instructors who regularly teach these courses. Here we discuss the common student difficulties with the electric flux found in our investigations, and the development and validation of a tutorial that strives to improve student understanding. We analyse how students performed on the pre-test (administered before the electric flux tutorial but after traditional instruction in the electric flux concepts) and on the post-test (administered after students in the tutorial group had engaged with the electric flux related tutorial). The performance of students in all sections of the course was comparable on the pre-test regardless of who taught that section. However, on the post-test, the performance of those in the sections of the course in which students engaged with the tutorial is significantly better that the section in which the tutorial was not used.
European Journal of Physics: Volume 39, Issue 4, Pages 045711
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Cooperative Learning
= Problem Solving
- Instructional Material Design
= Tutorial
Education - Basic Research
- Alternative Conceptions
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electric Fields and Potential
= Electric Field
= Gauss' Law
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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Format:
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
2018 European Physical Society
DOI:
10.1088/1361-6404/aabeeb
NSF Number:
1524575
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created September 18, 2023 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
September 18, 2023 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 16, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
J. Li and C. Singh, , Eur. J. Phys. 39 (4), 045711 (2018), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6404/aabeeb).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Li and C. Singh, Investigating and improving introductory physics students' understanding of electric flux, Eur. J. Phys. 39 (4), 045711 (2018), <https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6404/aabeeb>.
APA Format
Li, J., & Singh, C. (2018, May 16). Investigating and improving introductory physics students' understanding of electric flux. Eur. J. Phys., 39(4), 045711. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6404/aabeeb
Chicago Format
Li, Jing, and Chandralekha Singh. "Investigating and improving introductory physics students' understanding of electric flux." Eur. J. Phys. 39, no. 4, (May 16, 2018): 045711, https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6404/aabeeb (accessed 17 April 2024).
MLA Format
Li, Jing, and Chandralekha Singh. "Investigating and improving introductory physics students' understanding of electric flux." Eur. J. Phys. 39.4 (2018): 045711. 17 Apr. 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6404/aabeeb>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Jing Li and Chandralekha Singh", Title = {Investigating and improving introductory physics students' understanding of electric flux}, Journal = {Eur. J. Phys.}, Volume = {39}, Number = {4}, Pages = {045711}, Month = {May}, Year = {2018} }
Refer Export Format

%A Jing Li %A Chandralekha Singh %T Investigating and improving introductory physics students' understanding of electric flux %J Eur. J. Phys. %V 39 %N 4 %D May 16, 2018 %P 045711 %U https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6404/aabeeb %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Li, Jing %A Singh, Chandralekha %D May 16, 2018 %T Investigating and improving introductory physics students' understanding of electric flux %J Eur. J. Phys. %V 39 %N 4 %P 045711 %8 May 16, 2018 %U https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6404/aabeeb


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